Facebook user accused of subversion denied bail

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe – A court in Zimbabwe on Wednesday denied ball for a Facebook user who is facing charges of subversion over a comment he made on Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's page.

Vikas Mavhudzi was arrested in Bulawayo on February 24, after expressing his approval of the protests in Egypt that led to the resignation of Hosny Mubarak as president.

‘I am overwhelmed … What happened in Egypt is sending shockwaves to dictators around the world. No weapon but unity of purpose worth emulating, hey,’ Mavhudzi wrote.

According to state prosecutor Jeremiah Mutsindikwa, the 39-year- old had ‘unlawfully’ suggested to Tsvangirai ‘the taking over or attempt to take over the government by unconstitutional means or usurping the functions of the government.’

The magistrate’s court in Bulawayo dismissed his bail application on the basis that public security was a consideration and that ‘what happened in Egypt is a reality.’

Mavhudzi’s lawyer, Lizwe Jamela, said he planned to apply for bail at the High Court.

Protests that have led to the ousting of long-term autocratic leaders in Egypt and Tunisia appear to have rattled Zimbabwe’s president of more than two decades, Robert Mugabe.

Last month, a group of activists who gathered to watch video footage of the protests were arrested and allegedly tortured in police detention. Some were charged with treason, which carries the death penalty in Zimbabwe, while others were released.