Zimbabwe People First (ZimFirst) national spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire has become the first Zimbabwean to be charged with cyber terrorism.
He handed himself over to the police Law and Order section in Harare Thursday morning in the company of his lawyers.
After hours of being tossed around, he was eventually charged.
Zanu PF spin doctor Jonathan Moyo caused Mawarire’s arrest over a Tweet.
Said Mawarire on his official Twitter account “Released into the custody of my lawyers. Charged with contravention of section 88 (b) of the posts& tel Act Chpt 22:05.
He added “contravention of sect 88(b) of the posts & telecomms Act for a tweet I made in response 2 Moyo attacks on Dr Mujuru.
The Zimbabwean government, worried by what it terms social media abuse, is moving swiftly to updating its cyber laws, ostensibly to strengthen its spying activities on citizens.
The Computer Crime and Cybercrime Bill seeks to impose stiff jail sentences on offenders.
“Any person, who unlawfully and intentionally generates, possesses and distributes an electronic communication with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, threaten, bully or cause emotional distress, degrade, humiliate or demean the person of another person, using a computer system or information system shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 10 or imprisonment not exceeding five years or both,” the bill reads in part.
Recently, the commander of the army, Lieutenant-General Philip Sibanda stepped in, saying the military is ready to deal with anyone using electronic means to mobilise people to do anything unlawful.