Zim cracks down on Facebook protest

2011-05-24 09:18

Harare – A Zimbabwean will go on trial next month over a Facebook post that pro-democracy protests in Egypt had sent shockwaves to the world’s dictators and were worth imitating, a report said today.

The privately owned NewsDay said a magistrate in Bulawayo had set a June 10 trial date for Vikas Mavhudzi, who now faces a charge of posting “offensive messages” on Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Facebook wall.

Prosecutors said Mavhudzi sent a message on February 13 exhorting Zimbabweans – whose president, Robert Mugabe, has been in power for 31 years – to take a cue from the protests which forced out long-time Egypt ruler Hosni Mubarak.

“I’m overwhelmed, don’t know what to say Mr PM,” Mabvudzi is alleged to have written.

“What happened in Egypt is sending shockwaves to all dictators around the world. No weapon but unity of purpose. Worth emulating hey.”

Tsvangirai joined Mugabe in a fragile power-sharing government in 2009 after disputed polls escalated into a political and economic crisis.

Mavhudzi, who became the first person to be arrested in country for posting comments on Facebook, is currently out of police custody on $200 (R1 400) bail.

In February, 46 Zimbabweans were charged with treason for discussing the mass protests in Egypt.

The courts later freed 38 activists for lack of evidence, while the remaining six including Munyaradzi Gwisai, a former lawmaker from Tsvangirai’s party were arrested released on $2 000 bail. 

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.