Couple Arrested For Forwarding False Claims That President Mnangagwa Has Succumbed To Covid-19
A young couple from Beitbridge has been arrested for allegedly forwarding a false message via a WhatsApp group that President Mnangagwa had succumbed to Covid19.
According to The Herald, Devine Panashe Maregere (20) and his wife Vongai Nomatter Chiminya (20) are accused of having falsely claimed that the Head of State had died on the morning of January 25 due to Covid-19 related complications.
Maregere and Chiminya appeared before Beitbridge resident magistrate Mr Toyindepi Zhou charged with contravening section 31 (a)(i) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 (publishing or communicating false statement prejudicial to the State).
They were remanded in custody to March 5.
Prosecuting, Miss Tsitsi Mutukwa said on January 26, the two were at their place of residence in Dulivhadzimu Suburb when Chiminya received an audio message via a WhatsApp group ‘Ruwadzano Rwemadzimai’ which she is a member of.
The audio message claimed that President Mnangagwa had died of Covid19 on January 25 at around 6.24 am.
Chiminya allegedly sent the message to Maregere, who in turn forwarded it to another WhatsApp group, “Agents and Runners, Beitbridge”. He used his phone NetOne line to forward the audio message.
The offence was discovered on the following day leading to the pair’s arrest and the recovery of the two mobile phones, a Mobicel and Samsung Galaxy J4.
The young couple was arrested a few days after President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government warned people about publishing falsehoods thus, the couple became the latest to be caught up in the web.