MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere was yesterday granted $10 000 bail in a matter she is accused of peddling falsehoods on social media.
Mahere was arrested last week after she allegedly posted a widely-shared video of an altercation between a policeman and a woman in Harare on Twitter.
Social media users insinuated that the officer had killed the woman’s baby after striking it with a baton during an operation to drive away commuters from an illegal pick-up spot in Harare.
However, police later issued a statement denying that the baby had passed away following the incident.
Mahere spent the weekend in custody after she was accused of fanning hate towards the police due to a tweet she broadcasted from her verified account.
“A police officer beat a woman who was carrying a baby on her back. His baton stick hit the baby on its head and the baby died. The unconstitutional culture of violence and the use of disproportionate force by the police must fall.
“The officer must be brought to book. Violence is in the blood of the police. The killing of this baby by a policeman was criminal. There is no justification whatsoever for it. The arbitrary beating of citizens is what leads to beating of a baby on the head with a baton stick. Rogue policing must fall…” Mahere allegedly wrote on the microblogging site.
Regional magistrate Trynois Utahwashe ordered Mahere not to interfere with the baby’s mother Rebecca Musariri and to abide by the condition set in another matter in which she allegedly participated in the July 31, 2020 protest.
The magistrate said the State had not advanced any compelling reasons to justify her detention pending trial and that suggestions that they have overwhelming evidence is not justified.
“The tweets are disputed by the accused and repeating them does not amount to overwhelming evidence,” Utahwashe said.
Meanwhile, MDC Alliance vice chairperson Job Sikhala remains in custody over similar allegations after he was denied bail by another magistrate on a finding that he had propensity to re-offend.
The court said the State was blowing out of proportion claims that she will abscond fearing the consequences she will face if she is convicted.
The magistrate said Mahere is a lawyer and she walked into the police station with the knowledge of the potential penalty.