Local news

O’Donovan back in court as Mugabe insult cases crumble

By Nkosana Dlamini

AMERICAN journalist, Martha O’Donovan returns to the courts this Thursday with all eyes on the State to see if it was still intent on proceeding with a case centering on alleged insults on ousted President Robert Mugabe.

O’Donovan was arrested some 10 days before the onset of a popular military intervention which forced Mugabe to resign last November last year.

She was accused of calling Mugabe a “selfish and sick man” in a tweet that included an image of him with a catheter.

The Magamba TV employee was charged with “subverting a constitutional government through masterminding a social media campaign to overthrow the government by unconstitutional means” and “undermining the authority of and insulting the authority of the President”.

She denies the charge.

The 25 year old was made to spend seven nights in both police and prison custody before being granted $1000 bail with strict conditions.

But following Mugabe’s ignominious exit from power, which also saw almost similar cases around war veterans secretary general Victor Matemadanda and #ThisFlag founder Evan Mawarire crumble, it remains to be seen if the State would still want to persist with the case.

Matemadanda was accused of making false remarks that undermined Mugabe’s authority.

His case was dropped by prosecutors.

Similarly, Mawarire was end of November acquitted on charges of attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected government then led by Mugabe.

While nearly all alleged Mugabe insult cases have failed to secure convictions in the country’s courts, acquittals on Matemadanda and Mawarire were made days after the disgraced former leader had left his job generating interest on how the State intended to proceed on O’Donovan’s case.

Gary Murambiwa
the authorGary Murambiwa