Couple Remanded In Custody For Claiming Mnangagwa Succumbs To Covid-19

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By Staff Reporter

A BEITBRIDGE couple has been remanded in custody after it was arrested this week for allegedly broadcasting via a WhatsApp group that President Emmerson Mnangagwa had succumbed to Covid19.

Devine Panashe Maregere (20) and his wife Vongai Chiminya (20) are accused of falsely claiming Mnangagwa died on January 25 due to Covid-19 related complications.

They appeared before Beitbridge resident magistrate Toindepi Zhou charged with contravening provisions of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 by publishing or communicating false statement prejudicial to the State.

Zhou remanded them in custody to March 5.

Appearing for the state, Tsitsi Mutukwa said on January 26, the couple was at their home in Dulivhadzimu suburb when Chiminya received an audio message via a WhatsApp group ‘Ruwadzano Rwemadzimai’ which she is a member of.

The message claimed that Mnangagwa had died of Covid-19 the previous day.

She allegedly sent the message to her husband, who in turn forwarded it to another WhatsApp group, “Agents and Runners, Beitbridge”.

They arrested the following day and their cellphones were recovered as part of the police’s investigations.