Journalist faces charges after calling Mugabe a selfish and sick man


Robert Mugabe’s last month appointed cyber security minister seems to have made his first catch.

On Friday morning, a home of one of the journalists in Zimbabwe was invaded by law keepers, searched and then put her under arrest for allegations that she called Robert Gabriel Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s President, a selfish and sick man in her tweet last month (October 11) – according to the police.

‘We are being led by a selfish and sick man,’ read Martha O’Donovan’s tweet.

Martha O’Donovan, the charged journalist is an American citizen and a current journalist at Maramba TV station in Zimbabwe, where she is reported to have spent a year so far. During her arrest, her laptop was seized too.

According to Zimbabwean outlet, authorities had obtained a warrant for a morning raid on O’Donovan’s property and seized all of her electronic devices.

The accused was held at Harare Central Police station overnight and later transported to meet the judges in the court where she was charged with undermining the authority of, and insulting the President – the local news paper reported.

According to the inside sources, it is said that the journalist was also charged for trying to overthrow the Mugabe government by unconstitutional means – said the Committee to Project Journalists Africa.

O’Donovan, a graduate of New York University, said in a statement that, ‘I deny the allegations leveled against me as they are baseless and malicious.’

The 25 year old journalist is expected to be kept in to police custody until November 15, when her next hearing is going to be held. However, the Zimbabwe Human Rights lawyers, Ms. O’Donovan’s lawyers informed that they are going to seek a bail for her on Monday.

The lawyers also reacted that the charges inflicted on their client are illegal, since she was arrested without being told why she was being arrested.

‘This arrest marks the start of a sinister new chapter in the Zimbabwean government’s clampdown on freedom of speech, and the new battleground is social media,’ said Amnesty International’s deputy regional director, Muleya Mwananyanda, making remarks on the situation.











Reporter: Shamilah Namuddu

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