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Zimbabwe makes first Facebook arrest
04/03/2011 00:00:00
by Lunga Sibanda
 
Security threat ... Man in trouble over Facebook post
 
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ZIMBABWEAN police have made the first Facebook arrest after a Bulawayo man was charged with “subverting a constitutional government” over a post he made on the social networking site.

Vikas Mavhudzi, 39, of Old Magwegwe, posted a message deemed offensive on the "wall" of a Facebook account purpotedly belonging to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mavhudzi briefly appeared before a city magistrate on Thursday and was remanded in custody to March 9 after the state opposed bail.

His alleged crime was to post a comment saying: “I am overwhelmed, I don’t want to say Mr. or PM what happened in Egypt is sending shockwaves to dictators around the world. No weapon but unity of purpose worth emulating, hey.”

The post was in apparent reference to the recent mass protests in Egypt which succeeded in toppling long-serving President Hosni Mubarak.

Prosecutor, Jeremiah Mutsindikwa claims Mavhudzi was “advocating or attempting to take-over government by unconstitutional means”.

The court heard that a police officer received an anonymous call on February 24 claiming that Mavhudzi had sent a security threat through his mobile phone.

Mavhudzi was then arrested and upon sifting through his phone, the policeman discovered the “offending” message in the sent messages folder.

The message was allegedly sent to Tsvangirai’s Facebook Wall on February 13 at about 2pm.



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