Cyber lawICT

O’Donovan bail hearing postponed to Thursday

By Daniel Chigundu
Bail hearing for US national Martha O’Donovan which had been scheduled for today (Wednesday) at High Court has been postponed to tomorrow (Thursday 9 November).
O’Donovan, who was arrested on Friday on allegations of trying to subvert a constitutionally elected government and also for insulting President Robert Mugabe using a social media platform (Twitter), had made an urgent bail application on Monday.
Her lawyer Obey Shava from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights had expected the matter to be heard today, but the State said it was not read with its argument.
The State, however, told High Court Judge Nyaradzo Munangati that “our response is still being typed so we ask that the matter be postponed to tomorrow when we will be ready with our argument”.
The postponement means O’Donovan will have to stay another day at Chikurubi Female Prison where she is on remand to the 15th of November.
According to Magamba Network creative director Comrade Fatso, the charges being faced by Martha are malicious and “one need to only Google on the internet for the answers they are looking for, than waste time, arresting an innocent girl”.
O’Donovan’s arrest is the first Internet-related case after the formation of the new ministry that deals with cybersecurity and threat detection.
Only two months ago, the government failed to solve a technology-based crime where several MDC-T legislators received death threat messages from unknown people.
Since word came out that the government is crafting a Cyber Bill, there has been concern from among various rights groups that the law might be used to prevent freedom of speech.

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