Harare Woman Charged For Transmission Of Falsehood Information

A Harare woman who took to social media this week falsely accusing a local company for supplying sewage water instead of clean water was charged for transmission of falsehood information.

According to a recently gazetted law, “TRANSMISSION OF FALSE DATA MESSAGES INTENDING TO CAUSE HARM,’ is an offense in Zimbabwe.

In terms of section 164C, any person who unlawfully and intentionally, by means of a computer or information system, makes available, broadcasts or distributes data to any other person concerning an identified or identifiable person knowing it to be false with intent to cause psychological or economic harm shall be guilty of a criminal offence. The person shall be liable to a fine not exceeding level 10 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or to both.”

In light of the above, the woman who went viral on social media recently accusing Adel Company of selling and supplying sewage water to the public appeared in court yesterday.

The woman, Sandra Mazvita Pamberi(46) recorded a live video on Facebook at an area in Greystone Park where a bowser truck branded Adel Contracting was parked and drawing water from a stream and she falsely accused the company of taking sewage water from the stream which it would supply as drinking water.

The State represented by Rufaro Chonzi alleged that, “on January 15, at Gatspan Road, Off Drew Road, Greystone Park, Pamberi recorded the video using her cellphone stating that people should not buy water from Adel Company because they were pumping sewage water.”

The State further alleged, “She posted it on social media platforms including Facebook.

“By posting the false data, Pamberi wanted the company to lose clients thereby prejudicing it financially.”

According to the section implied above, it criminalizes the circulation, by computer or information system, of false data messages about a person, which are intended to cause psychological or economic harm. Essentially, anyone who circulates, broadcasts or distributes false messages about a person is criminally liable, and can face a level 10 fine or five years imprisonment.

Pamberi is seen in the video in a heated confrontation with the driver of the vehicle accusing him and the company of selling sewage water to high market areas like Borrowdale.

Pamberi insisted the water was for drinking despite the driver seen in the same video tried to explain that it is not drinking water.

Harare magistrate Appollonia Marutya charged her with transmission of false data message intending to cause harm, ordering her to pay US$100 bail and surrender her passport.

Pamberi was remanded to January 26.

Ross Moyo

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