HomeLocal NewsDefamation charge against journalist thrown out

Defamation charge against journalist thrown out

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Criminal defamation charges against Senior Court Reporter, Richard Muponde, instituted by Christopher Mangisi, who has a pending case for allegedly swindling an old woman of her house, were thrown out yesterday before the matter could go to court for trial.

Mangisi had accused Muponde of defaming him by publishing his theft charge case last year.

Prosecutor Simon Nleya yesterday declined to prosecute, arguing Mangisi did not have the basis to lay charge of defamation against Muponde, who was accompanied by company lawyer, Josphat Tshuma.

Nleya said Muponde had merely reported what was stated in the State outline and there was nothing wrong with such action.

Mangisi had tried to argue Muponde should have approached him at that instance to get his side of the story, but Nleya said this did not hold water as this was Mangisi’s initial appearance in court and he had not as yet advanced his defence or evidence.

Some journalists facing charges of criminal defamation have taken their cases to the Supreme Court claiming the piece of legislation is an infringement on Press freedom, an argument repeatedly advanced by various media organisations like the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists and Media Institute of Southern Africa, among others in the country.

Criminal defamation carries a custodial sentence.

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