Authorities in Zimbabwe have arrested a 25-year-old American citizen for allegedly insulting the country’s president Robert Mugabe in a tweet and conspiring to overthrow the government.
Martha O’Donovan, who works for the satirical medium Magambe TV, was arrested this week. It is not clear what the tweet in question said. O’Donovan’s lawyers commented that the woman had tweeted “We are led by a sick and selfish man” from the @matigary account. But Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, an activist group, said the offensive tweet had been one in which O’Donovan said there was a “goblin whose wife and son bought a Rolls-Royce.”
The young Martha O’Donovan. Image: AP
Mugabe’s stepson, Russell Goreraza, recently imported two Rolls-Royce Ghosts to the country that have a value of approximately $ 220,000. Images of Goreraza with the cars caused a scandal on social networks last month.
The police confiscated O’Donovan’s laptop when they took her to the police station. They argue that the tweets were issued from her IP address.
O’Donovan is the first person arrested after the government created a cybersecurity unit to monitor social networks in the country. Lately, activists have used social networks to organize protests against Mugabe, who has been the country’s leader for more than 35 years. Mugabe is 93 years old and has been accused of corruption and abuse of power.
In a statement signed by O’Donovan delivered to the Associated Press, the girl denies culpability.
“I reject the accusations against me as unfounded and malicious,” O’Donovan said.
Your case will be analyzed by the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe, which only considers the most serious crimes. If the court finds him guilty, O’Donovan could spend 20 years in prison.