A CHIVHU man was yesterday fined $500 after he falsely reported on a WhatsApp group that a nurse based at Sadza District Hospital in Chikomba had died of Covid-19.
Elliot Mafuta (39) was fined at Chivhu Police Station for contravening section 14 of Statutory Instrument 83 of 2020, which prohibits publication or communication of false news during the lockdown period.
Mafuta was arrested on Friday after posting the WhatsApp message the previous day.
On Thursday at 12:02 in the afternoon, Mafuta posted the message, which read: “A Sadza Hospital nurse who was Covid-19 positive died yesterday so the situation requires us to be cautious.”
He later posted on the same day that he was withholding the name of the deceased for “other reasons”.
Police received a tip-off, leading to his arrest.
His claims were dismissed by Sadza District Hospital administrator Tawanda Dzvairo who said the health institution had not recorded any positive Covid-19 case.
“It’s utterly false. At Sadza District Hospital, we haven’t yet recorded a suspected or confirmed coronavirus case,” he said.
Recently, President Emmerson Mnangagwa dismissed a viral social media message, which claimed that he had suspended payment of rentals by tenants.
— The Standard