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Zimbabwe:Court Drops Subversion Case Against American

Photo: S. Mhofu/VOA

Martha O'Donovan leaving Harare Magistrates Court after her subversion charges had been dropped from the court roll, Harare, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018.

Harare — A court in Zimbabwe set aside charges against a U.S. citizen accusing her of subversion and undermining the authority of former President Robert Mugabe. The court acted after prosecutors failed to provide her a trial date.

"No comment right now, guys. Thank you." That is all Martha O'Donovan said to reporters outside Harare Magistrates Court on Thursday. Just a bit earlier, Magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa said had to the U.S. citizen "further remand is denied. The state can follow by way of summons."

She was arrested in early November last year on charges of subversion and undermining the authority of now ousted President Robert Mugabe after allegedly tweeting that the 93-year-old was a "a selfish and sick man."

She denied both charges.

She spent a week at Zimbabwe's maximum security prison before being released on $1,000 bail.

Obey Shava from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights is representing the 25-year-old American and spoke to reporters after the court ruling Thursday.

"In the first place, there was no case. So something which the state called a case has crumbled today and we are quite glad that the court honored its promise; it removed our client from remand and we are happy because of that outcome," said Shava.

When O'Donovan last appeared in court in December the judge promised to remove her from the court roll unless she was furnished with a trial date which prosecutors did not do Thursday.

However, under Zimbabwean laws, the state can summon her to court should it come up with a date for trial, but all her bail conditions have been removed.

O'Donovan works for Magamba TV, a small company that produces what it calls political satire and comedy programming.

Just a few weeks after she was arrested, the military took control of the government, leading Mugabe to resign. His former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa replaced him as president.

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South Africa:Water Crisis Intensifies in Cape Town

By Thuso KhumaloThe South African city of Cape Town could soon dry up after dismal rainfall left city dams almost empty. Residents and visitors are being asked to restrict usage to essentials.Cape Town is experiencing the worst drought to hit South Afr...

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South Africa:Multiple Deaths Reported After Train Crash

By Sertan SandersonFour people have been killed and scores injured in a train crash in South Africa's Free State province. The cause of the accident is yet unknown but the number of casualties is expected to rise.Rescue workers reported that at least f...

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Namibia:First Lady's 'report' on ONE Economy for 2018

Photo: New Era

Monica Geingos, First Lady of Namibia


Windhoek — We are proud to have officially launched  # BreakFree , our Antiviolence initiative which will run for a year until December 2018. Driven by the evidence-based approach that underpins our work, we embarked on research within the Windhoek Correctional Facility. The learnings from this research have prompted a deeper analysis into the high levels of violence in general in Namibia and this is why the #BreakFree Campaign has been launched.

Dr. Chandre Gould, an expert from South Af rica with extensive experience in evidence-based violence prevention programmes was the guest speaker. Dr. Gould highlighted violence as a developmental issue and quantified the economic cost of violence in South Africa. She further shared insights into research she had conducted in South African Correctional Facilities. Dr. Gould commended Namibia for the bold stand taken on mobilizing support to end cycles of violence in her communities.

The year-long anti-violence engagement initiative was launched at an event where H.E Dr. Hage Geingob displayed great leadership and commitment by signing the “Anti-violence pledge”. The pledge is part one of the ways in which the public is asked to internalize violence and take a stand about actively being part of bringing about lasting societal change. The Office of the First Lady seeks to obtain 100 000 signatures to the Anti-Violence pledge before the end of 2018

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The #BreakFree Campaign seeks to create awareness about conflict resolution, problem solving and changing problematic mindsets which fuel violent behavior. The Office of the First Lady will also work with frontline service providers and other stakeholders to change systems and influence policy that will promote help-seeking behavior and support perpetrators as well survivors of violence.

First Lady Monica Geingos elaborated on how her office will engage the public to ensure that the campaign is interactive and seeks practical and relevant solutions. The Campaign seeks to mobilise 10 ideas, propose 100 interventions, tell 1000 stories, have 10000 interactions and obtain 100000 signatures.

Every month the Office of the First Lady will release a new theme which will be unpacked through the direct and active engagement of stakeholders.

To gain better insights into this campaign follow us:

Facebook: @BreakFreeBeFree
Twitter: @BeFreeBreakFree
Instagram: breakfree_befree

The research conducted in the Windhoek Correctional Facility analyses the problematic mindsets of perpetrators of Gender Based Violence and will be released during the 16 days of activism (25 November -10 December 2017)

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Uganda:Makerere to Award Winnie Mandela With Honorary Doctorate

Makerere University is to award veteran South African anti-apartheid campaigner, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, an Honorary Doctor of Laws during the 68th graduation ceremony later this month.The 81-year-old veteran politician and ex-wife to former Preside...

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