The High Court in Zimbabwe has today overturned the conviction of opposition activist Advocate Fadzayi Mahere.

Mahere has been cleared on both conviction and sentence.

On April 5, 2023, Advocate Mahere, who at the time was the spokesperson of the opposition CCC, was convicted of “publishing or communicating a statement which is wholly or materially false with the intention or realising that there is a real risk or possibility of undermining public confidence in a law enforcement agency of Zimbabwe” in terms of section 31(a)(iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 09:23] (the Criminal Law Code).

Mahere was fined US $500 following her conviction.

This legal provision that was used to convict her was declared void by the Constitutional Court in 2014, a position which the High Court confirmed in today’s ruling.

Mahere said, “The High Court has upheld my appeal.

The offence in terms of which I was charged and jailed at Chikurubi was invalid”.

“The High Court confirmed that I was arrested, prosecuted and convicted on the basis of an offence that doesn’t exist.

It’s been a long four years but that’s for another day.

It feels good to have a clean criminal record again”, she added on.

Mahere was accused of publishing statements that police killed a baby with a button stick.

ZimRights National Director, Dzikamai Bere said, “While we welcome the proper interpretation of the law by the High Court in the ruling today, we regret that for a whole year, an innocent person suffered the trauma of politically motivated prosecution.

The psychological effect of politically motivated prosecution of activists must not be underestimated.

Such cases undermine confidence in the justice system and discourage active participation in democratic processes.

They are part of the structural violence that our latest State of Peace Report condemned”.

ZimRights continues to condemn the abuse of the legal system against activists and encourages judicial officers to rise above partisan politics.

Leave a Reply

Open chat
Scan the code
Hello 👋
Can we help you?