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Zimbabwe Police Arrest Top Opposition MDC Alliance Official

Tendai Biti and MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere. (Godwin Mangudya)

Police on Monday arrested lawyer and opposition Movement for Democratic (MDC) Alliance party spokesperson, Advocate Fadzayi Mahere, and charged her with inciting or promoting public disorder or public violence after she allegedly tweeted about the abuse of a minor by a police officer.

In a tweet, Mahere said, “Arrested. This regime will never break my spirit. We need new leaders.”

Advocate Mahere, who is detained at Harare Central Police Station, allegedly violated Section 31(a)(i) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), police also pressed an alternative charge against the MDC-Alliance party spokesperson of publishing or communicating a false statement with the intention of undermining public confidence in a law enforcement agency as defined in Section 31(a)(iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Mahere, who is represented by David Drury and Andria Dracos of Honey and Blanckenberg Legal Practitioners and assisted by Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, is expected to appear at Harare Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

The ZLHR said Mahere is the third person to be arrested following the apprehension last week of freelance journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and Zengeza West constituency legislator, Job Sikhala, who were all charged with publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the State as defined in section 31(a)(iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Prosecutors claim that Chin’ono and Hon. Sikhala shared some statements on social media platforms falsely alleging that a child had been beaten to death by a police officer after law enforcement agents assaulted the mother of the child in Harare.

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