Techno Challenge Scuttles Facebook Trial

Mavhudzi’s trial was scheduled to commence at Tredgold Magistrates Court on Wednesday after the State insisted that it was ready for trial in the last appearance.

But Magistrate Rose Dube postponed the trial to Friday after defence lawyers, Lizwe Jamela and Nosimilo Chanayiwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights demanded to be shown how the State retrieved the so-called message allegedly sent to Tsvangirai following indications that the State seized Mavhudzi’s mobile phone and intends to use it as an exhibit together with the alleged statements

Jamela and Chanayiwa protested that the prosecutor, Jeremiah Mutsindikwa and the investigating officer had not brought to court the exhibits in the matter including the mobile handset which they claimed had been used by Mavhudzi to post the offensive face book remark on Tsvangirai’s face book wall which forms part of the State case that should have been presented to the defence team together with other State papers.

“The State is now expected to bring the exhibits on Friday and demonstrate to the court how the Magwegwe resident contravened the country’s tough security laws with an indication already raised by the investigating officer that they may not be able to operate  Mavhudzi’s Blackberry cell phone and also that the phone’s batteries are now flat,” rights group ZLHR said in an alert.

Mavhudzi was arrested in February for allegedly posting a face book remark on Tsvangirai’s wall. Mutsindikwa, claims that the 39 year-old Mavhudzi sent a message to Tsvangirai suggesting “the taking over or attempt to take over the government by unconstitutional means or usurping the functions of the government”.

Mutsindikwa says Mavhudzi allegedly wrote the following words on Tsvangirai’s facebook page: “I’m overwhelmed, don’t know what to say Mr PM. What happened in Egypt is sending shockwaves to all dictators around the world. No weapon but unity of purpose. Worth emulating, hey.”