Another Woman Arrested For Fake News On COVID-19

Another Bulawayo woman yesterday appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Ms Adelaide Mbeure on Monday facing charges of publishing or communicating false statements on WhatsApp.

The woman, Abishel Matika (39) of Cowdray Park is alleged to have violated section 31 (a) (I) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act after she circulated a fake statement which purported that President Emmerson Mnangagwa had extended the lockdown by “13 days only.”

Representing the state, Mr Terence Chakanyuka alleged that the said fake statement which bore President Mnangagwa’s signature was headlined: “Extension of lockdown period by 13 days only.” He added:

Accused person then circulated the fake document on different WhatsApp platforms using her cellphone, Huawei with Econet line and also forwarded the fake message to her daughter Renah Muhambi.

She was remanded out of custody to June 8 on $500 bail and was also ordered to report once every fortnight at Luveve Police Station as part of the bail conditions and also to surrender her passport and to continue residing at her given address until the matter is finalised.

Peddling falsehoods, particularly to do with COVID-19 and the president, has been categorised as a Level 14 offence, the highest in the country, and offenders may be imprisoned for up to 20 years.

More: The Chronicle

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