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Zim authorities renew onslaught against journalists


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ZIMBABWEAN authorities on Friday 03 March 2017 charged two NewsDay journalists with undermining authority of or insulting President Robert Mugabe, a day after the newspaper published an article over his health following his trip to Singapore for a medical check-up.

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers charged NewsDay journalists Richard Chidza and Wisdom Mdzungairi, the Editor of the daily newspaper and Alpha Media Holdings, publishers of the daily newspaper, represented by Sifikile Thabete, the company’s legal assistant with undermining authority of or insulting President Mugabe as defined in Section 33 (2) (ii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.

ZRP officers alleged that the journalists, who were represented by Obey Shava of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, insulted President Mugabe by publishing an article in NewsDay’s edition of Thursday 02 March 2017 titled “Mugabe in Fresh Health Scare” which is a false statement meant to cause contempt or ridicule to the 93 year-old ZANU PF leader.

ZRP officers, who included Detective Inspector Phiri and who interrogated the trio for close to six hours at Harare Central Police Station, took offence with a statement in which the newspaper reported that; “While officials claims, Mugabe frequently travels to the Far East to have eye check-ups, there are reports that he is afflicted by not only old age but also prostate cancer”. The law enforcement agents indicated that the journalists and the newspaper were not supposed to disclose President Mugabe’s condition and wanted the media practitioners to disclose the identity of their source.

Chidza, Mdzungairi and Thabete were later released by the ZRP officers and advised that they are likely to appear in court on Saturday 04 March 2017 subject to confirmation by the law enforcement agents. Source: The Zimbabwean


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