We’re reading the Herald this morning that a 17-year old boy in Chiredzi (a town in south-east Zimbabwe) has been sentenced to two strokes of a cane by a local magistrate after being convicted of posting pictures of a local woman and describing her as a prostitute on Facebook.
According to the story, the boy took a picture of the woman with his mobile phone and, determined to fix her, posted the picture to Facebook along with a description in the Shona vernacular that said “Mahure emuChiredzi ndiwaya”. Translated to English that says “These are the Chiredzi Prostitutes”. The woman apparently discovered the picture the same day and reported the matter to the local police and the boy was arrested.
His crime according to the report is ‘criminal insult’.
We don’t often read about arrests made and sentences passed locally over social media crimes except in a few cases where people have made political comments deemed inappropriate on Facebook. We imagine though there are numerous similar cases of defamation on social networks that go unreported. Interesting to see if more will follow.