MUTARE-based NewsDay reporter, Kenneth Nyangani was yesterday granted $200 bail and remanded to October 18 in a matter, where he is accused of criminal nuisance after writing a story in which First Lady Grace Mugabe allegedly donated second-hand underwear to Zanu PF supporters.
BY CLAYTON MASEKESA/OBEY MANAYITI
In granting bail, Mutare magistrate, Sekai Chiwundura ordered Nyangani to reside at his given address, not to interfere with witnesses and report every Friday at Mutare Central Police Station Law and Order section.
Passmore Nyakureba from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights represented Nyangani. Mutare-based journalists attended the packed courtroom in solidarity.
Meanwhile, media organisations have condemned the wave of harassment of journalists, particularly in the past few weeks.
“We highly denounce such overzealousness by politicians or by security agents, who harass journalists doing their professional work,” Media Institute for Southern Africa-Zimbabwe chapter chairperson, Golden Maunganidze said.
“We are concerned with the way journalists are being harassed. It seems it is a calculated move, but we reiterate that journalists must not be abused.”
Zimbabwe Union of Journalists secretary-general, Foster Dongozi weighed in, saying action must be taken against those that find pleasure in harassing journalists.
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“It is just too much and we have people like Simon Khaya Moyo (Zanu PF spokesman) adding fuel to the burning fire. We noted the statement by Information minister Chris Mushohwe that the government is guaranteeing the safety of journalists, but it is some of the government departments that are abusing journalists.
“We have noted with alarm the increase in terms of harassment against media practitioners by State actors. The abuse has risen from ordinary detention to police trying to choke journalists and using pellet guns.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions also raised concern over rises in cases of harassment and threats to journalists.