A man who encouraged bombings in Zimbabwe in online speeches has been jailed for terrorism offences.
William Martin Chinyanga, 52, live-streamed a number of speeches on Facebook protesting Zimbabwe’s ruling party, ZANU PF, in which he encouraged bombings and attacks on soldiers and police.
He encouraged people to burn down service stations and businesses in Harare. The December 2019 videos were referred to counter-terror police who swooped to arrest Chinyanga on February 25, 2020, at his home in north London.
Commander Richard Smith, who leads the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said:
“It was a report from a member of the public that brought Chinyanga’s speeches to the attention of police. That person did the right thing, and this case shows that we will follow up on all reports and take action when needed.
We would strongly urge anyone who sees anything online which promotes terrorism to report it to police. Chinyanga sought to reach as wide an audience as possible when he took to social media to encourage violent action against the current government in his native Zimbabwe.
Dangerous rhetoric of this nature can and does have harmful real-world consequences.”
In an interview, Chinyanga admitted to posting the videos and was sentenced to three years in prison on Friday.
He was earlier found guilty of two counts of encouraging terrorist acts after a trial at Kingston Crown Court. He was acquitted of two further charges of encouraging terrorist acts.