CHINHOYI – The publisher and editor of a Mashonaland West provincial newspaper, The Weekly Mirror, Dennis Kagonye, who was arrested on Tuesday for operating a media house without a valid licence from the Zimbabwe Media Commission, was yesterday convicted and sentenced to two months in prison for violating the provisions of Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa).
REPORT BY OWN CORRESPONDENT
Kagonye was, however, spared a custodial sentence after magistrate Fanny Nyakudya gave him an option of a $100 fine to be deposited with the Clerk of Court by November 30.
A further six months in jail were suspended for five years on condition that he does not commit the same offence.
Kagonye stirred a hornet’s nest following publication of a story in his paper’s September 21 issue headlined Chief Terrorises Defiant Headman alleging Chief Try Manyepa Dandawa, a known Zanu PF functionary, was fighting headman Redson Chisango (38) for refusing to relinquish his headmanship for the chief’s long-serving aide, only identified as Chipungu.
The State alleged Chisango falsely gave information to the Press, claiming that his life was in danger.
Chisango was quoted in the paper claiming Chief Dandawa would cause his arrest and detention by the police without charge. Headman Chisango was a fortnight ago arrested and brought to court facing criminal defamation charges. He is out on free bail.
Kagonye, who is also an MDC-T activist, was last week quizzed by police detectives over the story before his arrest on Tuesday after he was summoned to the police station. The officers also confiscated a computer from the newspaper’s offices.
Lucky Dube prosecuted.