Earlier today Techzim reported that Martha O’Donovan from Magamba TV was taken into custody for a tweet that had allegedly been sent out by her during the Shoko Festival in early September.
At the time it was not clear whether she had sent out the tweet or it was a retweet of someone else’s tweet but what we do know is that armed with a warrant the Zimbabwe Republic Police made their way to her place of residence and took possession of her electronic devices.
In charges laid this evening, O’Donovan is now accused of having access to and tweeting from the @Matigary handle, a tweet that is alleged to insult the President. The tweet:
Below is the warned and cautioned statement that O’Donovan signed.
HARARE CENTRAL CR. 15/11/2017 EXHIBIT ” ”
CID LAW AND ORDER DR 03/11/17
WARNED AND CAUTIONED STATEMENT
I, Martha Louise O’Donovan, aged 25 years, passport number 549812235 residing at XYZ* (address removed), Harare, having been informed by Detective Inspector Murawa of CID law and Order, Harare that enquiries are being made in connection with a case of UNDERMINING AUTHORITY OF OR INSULTING PRESIDENT AS DEFINED IN SECTION 33 (2) (b) OF THE CRIMINAL LAW (CODIFICATION AND REFORM] ACT, CHAPTER 9:23, in which it is alleged that on 11 October 2017 at 0941 hours in Harare, I posted a message on Twitter using username @matigary which reads, “We are being led by a selfish and sick man”, with a photo illustration showing that the President of Zimbabwe, Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe is surviving on a Catheter, make this statement of my own free will.
While I have been informed that I ant not obliged to say anything in answer to these allegations, my failure at this stage to mention any facts relevant to my defence to them may result in a court drawing inferences against me. Whatever I say will be put in writing and may be given in court as evidence.
You are also advised that you are entitled to the following rights:-
- To appear before a court within 48 hours unless further detention has been authorized by a competent court.
- Not to be forced to make a confession.
- The reason for detention.
- To approach the High Court for an order of Habeas Corpus i.e an order requiring you to be released, or to be brought before the court for the lawfulness of the detention to be justified.
- To be considered innocent until proven guilty.
- To be informed promptly of the charge in sufficient detail to enable you to answer it.
Question: Have you understood the caution?
Accused’s reply in English.
I deny the allegations being levelled against me as baseless and malicious. That is all I wish to say.
The @Matigary handle on Twitter has proven to be a modern-day “Baba Jukwa”, that often reveals high-level information that not many people have access to. “He” is an interesting character as can be seen from his tweets that not many people will have access to such intel.