HomeLocal NewsStandard editor released but. . .

Standard editor released but. . .

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Standard Editor Nevanji Madanhire was on Thursday night released from police custody following his arrest together with reporter Patience Nyangove and company representative Loud Ramakgapola on Wednesday.

Company lawyer Linda Cook on Thursday night said: “We went to the Attorney-General’s Office this afternoon (Thursday) and explained the situation. I agreed with the AG that he will be released and that we would come to the AG’s Office at 9:30am and go to court at 10am tomorrow (Friday). We also agreed on bail terms.”

Nyangove and Ramakgapola were released on Wednesday evening but were ordered to return to the Law and Order Section on Thursday morning.

The trio were arrested on Wednesday over the newspaper’s lead story in this week’s edition headed “MDC-T fears for missing Timba’s life”.
Jameson Timba, who is the Minister of State in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Office, was detained over the weekend, but has since been released following a High Court order.

Earlier on Thursday, Cook said: “Patience and Ramakgapola were permitted to leave the police station at lunch-time. They (the police) have indicated that they are preparing a full docket so that the matter goes for trial. I don’t know what is in the docket, because they have not shown me anything. They have refused to give me copies of the warned-and-cautioned statement saying I will get them from the prosecutor. They are being obstructive.”

Cook added the police would proceed by way of summons on Nyangove and Ramakgapola.

The trio have been charged with criminal defamation under Section 96 of the Criminal Code and with the publication of false statements prejudicial to the State which undermine public confidence in a law enforcement agent under Section 31 (A) (iii).

Police maintain it was falsely reported Timba was arrested by police officers who included “the notorious Chrispen Makedenge” when it is alleged that Makedenge was not involved in the arrest.

Meanwhile, the MDC parties condemned the arrests and called for the journalists to be released.

“Yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) arrests are not only unfortunate, but entirely wrong and unnecessary as they put the country in an awful position when the inclusive government is supposed to be pushing for improved media reforms,” said MDC-T.

MDC-N said the police should have complained to the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) or Zimbabwe Media Commission if they were aggrieved.

The VMCZ programme officer advocacy and complaints Loughty Dube said: “VMCZ urges the police to resort to the Media Complaints Committee to raise their concerns, objections and complaints on stories that they may deem unfair to their profession.”

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