In a surprising turn of events in Harare, Zimbabwe, a woman named Sandra Mazviita Pamberi has been taken into custody. Her alleged crime: spreading falsities through a video shared on social media. The video in question accused Adela Constructing of collecting water from a sewage-infested river and distributing it to residents, sparking social media uproar.
Adela Constructing Refutes Accusations
In a swift response, Adela Constructing, the company accused in the video, issued a statement refuting the allegations. The firm clarified that their line of business does not involve the distribution of water. Instead, they are primarily engaged in supplying plant equipment. The company was contracted for road construction in Greystone Park, and the water bowser depicted in the video was being employed to drain a pool of rainwater. This pool had been formed by a stream, and the draining was necessary to allow road development, the company explained.
Arrest under Zimbabwean Criminal Code
Pamberi is facing charges of publishing falsehoods under the Zimbabwean Criminal Code. Specifically, she is accused of violating Section 164C of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9 23. This act deals with cybercrimes, introducing a range of new criminal offences related to computer systems, data storage, and electronic communications. The Cyber and Data Protection Act provides quicker and more affordable access to recourse for victims of harassment, circulation of false messages, and cyberbullying through the criminal justice system.
Implications for Freedom of Speech
The arrest of Pamberi has triggered concerns about freedom of speech and the potential repercussions of spreading unverified information via social media platforms. It serves as a stern reminder of the importance of fact-checking before sharing potentially damaging or misleading information.