Yesterday Thursday, October 9, Zimbabwe freed a 25-year-old American journalist who was charged with subverting President Robert Mugabe via an alleged tweet that described the president as “selfish and sick”, AFP reports.
The journalist, Martha O’Donovan was charged with attempting to overthrow Mugabe as well as undermining or insulting the 93-year-old leader.Her laptop was confiscated after a raid on her apartment, few weeks after Mugabe appointed a cybersecurity minister whose job was to monitor social media.
Martha was granted bail of $1,000 bail, while he surrendered her passport and is to report twice weekly to detectives.
The judge agreed with the defense and accepted that the prosecutors had failed to justify the reason for remanding her in custody.
Human rights groups have said that the cybersecurity ministry which was created last month in Mugabe’s latest cabinet shuffle is an attempt to clamp down on social media ahead of next year’s election, which Mugabe will also run in.