CCC’s Fadzayi Mahere appeals against conviction, sentence in ‘dead baby tweet’ case

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By Staff Reporter

CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere who was recently convicted and fined on allegations of publishing falsehoods has filed an appeal at the High Court.

Mahere escaped a jail term after the magistrate who presided over her case ruled that her intention was to soil the image of the police when she tweeted that an officer had struck a baby to death with a baton stick.

She was however acquitted of the preferred charge brought by the prosecution of promoting and inciting public violence.

Mahere however feels that the magistrate, Taurai Manuwere erred in reaching that decision.

“Constitutional lawyer & opposition @CCCZimbabwe spokesperson Advocate Fadzai Mahere has asked the High Court to overturn her conviction and sentence for allegedly publishing or communicating falsehoods prejudicial to the state,” Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (Rights) representing the opposition spokesperson announced.

In her appeal Mahere argued that the magistrate failed to interpret the law.

“Manuwere grossly erred and misdirected himself when after having accepted that section 31(a)(iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act was declared invalid under the former Constitution, he went on to arrive at a finding that the same provision was resuscitated or was validated by the coming into operation of the current Constitution and on account of the General Laws Amendment Act.

“The constitutional lawyer charged that Magistrate Manuwere grossly erred and misdirected himself by completely ignoring the fact that she was targeted for prosecution and that her right and legitimate expectation to equality before the law was violated rendering the charge incompetent and invalid.

“The US$500 fine, Advocate Mahere argued, is manifestly excessive and induces a sense of shock in that it militates against the exercise of the right to freedom of expression.”

Mahere wants the High Court to set aside her conviction and sentence.

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