Hwange magistrate Rose Dube yesterday placed off remand Bulawayo-based journalist, Mzwandile Ndlovu, who is facing charges of publishing statements which are prejudicial to the State.
This was after the court discovered the Attorney General (AG)’s Office was not ready to pursue the case. Ndlovu, accused of reporting fictitious stories in Bulawayo Agenda’s Weekly Agenda newsletter, appeared before the magistrate yesterday but the State could not lead its evidence against him, almost 11 months after he was charged.
This prompted the journalist, through the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Project lawyer Lizwe Jamela, to apply to be placed off remand until the AG’s Office is ready for trial.
The magistrate ruled the case would proceed by way of summons.
Ndlovu was arrested on May 10 last year after the police summoned him to Matabeleland North police headquarters in Hwange.
He was charged under section 31 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act which prohibits reporting false stories.
The charge emanated from an April 23, 2011 story, about an aborted Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration meeting scheduled for Victoria Falls and the arrest of one of the former co- ministers Moses Mzila-Ndlovu.