Zimbabwean police have arrested an American citizen and confiscated her laptop, claiming that she had insulted President Robert Mugabe through her social media post, her lawyers said.
Martha O’Donovan was detained on Friday morning. Her lawyer, Obey Shava, told media that O’Donovan had been accused of tweeting “We are being led by a selfish and sick man” on Twitter. The tweet also had a photo illustration of the 93-year-old Zimbabwean President with a catheter.
However, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said police officers claimed that O’Donovan, who is represented by one of its members, posted a tweet on her profile during the recently held Shoko Festival, which referred to a certain Goblin, whose wife and step sons imported a Rolls Royce vehicle.
“The reported offensive and insulting tweet does not make any mention of the president’s name,” the ZHLR said.
Recent media reports have claimed that Mugabe’s wife and sons imported luxury vehicles from neighboring South Africa.
O’Donovan is an American citizen who works for Magamba TV, which describes itself as Zimbabwe’s leading producer of political satire and comedy shows.
The arrest of O’Donovan is the first twitter-related arrest after the government created a cyber security ministry last month.