Harare, Zimbabwe – In a case where she is accused of communicating falsehoods, Fadzayi Mahere, a spokesperson for the CITIZENS Coalition for Change, testified before a Harare magistrate that she had no intention to lie in her tweets when she alleged that a police officer had killed a baby with a baton stick in 2021.
Mahere stated that there was no evidence presented by the prosecution to prove that she had intended to publish false information. She emphasized that her tweets were published before any official statement was released to contradict the alleged incident and that even the baby’s mother believed the child had died.
“I totally deny that my tweet is certainly false and no evidence was submitted in court that I had intentions to lie. I had no intention to communicate falsehoods or to incite violence, or to undermine State security,” Mahere said in court.
The prosecutor opposed Mahere’s submission of a statement by the police as evidence, arguing that it was not verified. The court was also informed that the baby’s mother testified that she was traumatized by the incident.
“I am not the only person who tweeted about the conduct of the police. In fact, the statement by the police on January 6 demonstrated that there was widespread belief on social media that the baby had died,” she added.
Magistrate Taurai Manuwere adjourned the matter to February 1st. The outcome of the case will determine if the tweets by Mahere were false or not, and if it was her intention to communicate false information to the public.