BY SILAS NKALA
LAWYERS for New York Times (NYT) correspondent Jeffrey Moyo yesterday said they had filed an appeal at the High Court after receiving a written ruling from the magistrate who denied him bail last week.
Moyo has been languishing in remand prison after he was denied bail by Bulawayo magistrate Rachel Mukanga, who said he was a flight risk and a threat to national security and sovereignty.
“We finally obtained a ruling from the magistrate yesterday (Tuesday) and so we will be filing a bail appeal this morning (yesterday) against the ruling, which should be heard at the High Court either late this week or early next week. So yes, he is still in custody,” his lawyer Douglas Coltart said.
Moyo was arrested last month on allegations of contravening the Immigration Act for allegedly assisting two New York Times journalists to fraudulently acquire Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) accreditation cards.
“The two foreigners entered the country on May 5 and were deported on May 8. Their agenda was unknown and for three days, they carried out their business interviewing local people without the minister’s approving. The national sovereignty and security of the country as we speak is already at stake. The release of the two accused persons on bail will undermine public peace and security,” Mukanga
Prosecutor Thompson Hove alleged that Moyo assisted the two unnamed journalists to illegally enter the country and promised them temporary Press cards despite them having been denied entry by the Information ministry.
Last week, Coltart said Moyo was being denied access to his wife and relatives and did not have blankets despite the chilly weather conditions currently prevailing in Bulawayo.
Coltart yesterday said the ruling was the most disturbing finding as accreditation of journalists is not done by the Information minister, but ZMC. Moyo is also accused of conniving with ZMC employee Thabang Manhika in committing the offence. Manhika is also being charged in connection with the alleged offence.
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