High Court Exonerates Fadzayi Mahere in Landmark Ruling

February 29, 2024
| Report Focus News

In a pivotal judgment, the High Court has absolved former Citizens Coalition for Change lawmaker, Fadzayi Mahere, of charges related to publishing falsehoods, marking a significant victory for the legal luminary following her appeal against both the conviction and the sentence previously imposed upon her.

The court’s decision underscored a critical judicial oversight, as it was revealed that Mahere was prosecuted under an offence deemed non-existent by the Constitutional Court. This development underscores a judicial acknowledgment of the invalidity of the charge, which had been previously outlawed.

Expressing relief and satisfaction over the court’s verdict, Mahere shared her sentiments, emphasizing the restoration of her unblemished criminal record. “The High Court has vindicated my stance, affirming that the offence for which I was charged and subsequently incarcerated at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison was baseless,” Mahere articulated. She further added, “The quashing of both the conviction and sentence by the High Court is not only a personal victory but a testament to the judicial process’s capacity to uphold justice.”

Mahere’s legal battle stems from her conviction last April, where she faced allegations of disseminating misinformation detrimental to the police force’s image. She was fined US$500 following a comprehensive trial that culminated in her being found guilty of communicating falsehoods prejudicial to the State and its law enforcement agencies. Throughout the trial, Mahere steadfastly refuted the accusations.

Moreover, Mahere was acquitted of a more severe charge of “promoting and inciting public violence,” which was initially levied against her by the prosecution. This acquittal further highlights the contentious nature of the charges and the judicial scrutiny they underwent.

The High Court’s ruling not only exonerates Mahere but also sets a precedent regarding the legal boundaries of freedom of expression and the importance of ensuring that charges brought against individuals are grounded in valid, existing laws. This landmark decision marks the end of a four-year ordeal for Mahere, who now looks forward to moving on with a clean slate.