Espionage charges withdrawn

The State has withdrawn outrageous espionage charges against two Zimbabwean businessmen charged with illegally setting up satellite communication equipment and leaking official secrets to foreign countries.

Farai Rwodzi
Farai Rwodzi

They are now being charged with breaching the Post and Telecommunications Act.

Africom acting chief executive, Simba Mangwende, and non-executive director, Farai Rwodzi, together with Oliver Chiku of Global Satellite Systems, were charged under the Orwellian Official Secrets Act. That charge has been dropped, and the State is now pursuing the charge of contravening Section 33 (i) of the Postal and Telecommunications Act that makes it an offence for one to illegally possess, control or work for a radio station.

The trio allegedly installed communication equipment at a yet-to-be-disclosed location and connected it to the Africom main network system without the authority or knowledge of Africom management.

Observers suspect there is a political angle to the whole arrest, and question how a non-executive director like Rwodzi could be singled out for vindictive treatment.

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