Trade unionist Obert Masaraure, convicted for obstructing justice after tweeting a solidarity message with a jailed fellow leader of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) teachers’ union, has been spared jail.

A court has given him wholly suspended 4-month jail sentence and fined him US$200.

Charges against Masaraure, the leader of ARTUZ, allegedly emanate from his posts on the union’s X handle protesting the arrest of an activist Robson Chere.

Masaraure, who is denying the charges, is accused of demanding the release of Chere following his arrest in connection with the death of an ARTUZ member, Roy Issa, in 2016.

Issa allegedly plunged to his death from the seventh floor of a Harare hotel.

An inquest into his death ruled out foul play, but police went on to reopen the docket and filed murder charges against Masaraure and Chere.

Harare regional magistrate Feresi Chakanyuka, however, found Masaraure guilty for obstructing the course of justice.