Radio Dialogue manager case today

RADIO Dialogue production manager Zenzele Ndebele, who was arrested last Friday for allegedly smuggling shortwave radio receivers into the country, could appear in court today.

STAFF REPORTER

Ndebele had been expected to appear at the Bulawayo Magistrates’ Court yesterday, but his lawyer Kucaca Phulu said new arrangements on the case had been made.

“We are not going to court today (yesterday),” Phulu told NewsDay.
“We will try tomorrow by arrangement between the defence and the police. We have just agreed with the police to go to court tomorrow.”

Ndebele was arrested when police detectives raided Radio Dialogue offices situated at the Ingwe Studios in Bulawayo on Friday.

They confiscated 180 solar-powered radio receivers.
He is being charged for contravening Section 182 of the Customs and Excise Act.

Ndebele was later released to his lawyer on Friday night following his arrest and interrogation.

The swoop on Radio Dialogue follows a February 19 2013 police ban on the possession of “specially designed radios” and other communication devices.

Police suspect such equipment was being used to communicate hate speech ahead of Zimbabwe’s referendum and general elections.

At the time of the ban, police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba told a news conference in Harare that possession and distribution of the devices in question was illegal.

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) has condemned the police ban of the radios, saying: “Misa reiterates its earlier assertions that Section 38B of the Broadcasting Services Act does not ban the possession of shortwave radio receivers.

The police’s ban can therefore only be aimed at curbing citizens’ rights to access alternative information, ideas and opinions ahead of the referendum and harmonised elections.”

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