Charges against Nyarota changed


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Charges against the four journalists from the Daily News were changed from publishing a report that could cause fear, alarm and despondency to distribution or circulation of a subversive statement.

The four were editor Geoff Nyarota, deputy editor Bill Saidi, news editor John Gambanga and reporter Sam Munyavi.

The journalists were arrested for a front page story that alleged that police vehicles were used to assist people looting commercial farms in the Chinhoyi area.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE2439, CHANGE IN CHARGES AGAINST DAILY NEWS JOURNALISTS

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE2439

2001-08-17 09:09

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

170909Z Aug 01

 

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED     PTO4248

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02439 170912Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DODE-00 DS-00   UTED-00

VC-00   TEDE-00 INR-00   VCE-00   NSAE-00 NSCE-00 SSO-00

SS-00   TEST-00 USIE-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02   NFAT-00 SAS-00

/002W

——————13518B 170913Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9489

INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

UNCLAS HARARE 002439

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/S (KRAFT), AF (BELLAMY), AF/PD (SANDERS,

ROBERTSON, COX)

 

NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: KPAO PREL ZI PHUM

SUBJECT: CHANGE IN CHARGES AGAINST DAILY NEWS JOURNALISTS

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02439 170912Z

1.   THE CHARGES AGAINST THE FOUR JOURNALISTS FROM THE

INDEPENDENT “DAILY NEWS” WERE CHANGED LATE ON AUGUST 16.

THE FOUR JOURNALISTS (EDITOR GEOFF NYAROTA, DEPUTY EDITOR

BILL SAIDI, NEWS EDITOR JOHN GAMBANGA AND REPORTER SAM

MUNYAVI) ARE NOW CHARGED WITH “DISTRIBUTION OR CIRCULATION

OF A SUBVERSIVE STATEMENT,” A VIOLATION OF SECTION 44

(2)(B) OF THE LAW AND ORDER MAINTENANCE ACT (LOMA).

 

2.   THE FOUR WERE ORIGINALLY CHARGED WITH PUBLISHING A

REPORT THAT COULD CAUSE “FEAR, ALARM OR DESPONDENCY AMONG

THE PUBLIC,” A VIOLATION OF SECTION 50 (2)(A) OF THE LOMA.

THAT CHARGED WAS DROPPED WHEN POLICE REALIZED THAT THE

ZIMBABWEAN SUPREME COURT HAD DECLARED SECTION 50

UNCONSTITUTIONAL IN 2000. THE FOUR WERE THEN CHARGED WITH

CRIMINAL DEFAMATION OF THE ZIMBABWE REPUBLIC POLICE. THAT

CHARGE WAS DROPPED WHEN THE JOURNALISTS’ LAWYER MADE THE

CASE THAT ONLY INDIVIDUALS, NOT INSTITUTIONS, CAN LEGALLY

BE DEFAMED.

 

3.   THE FOUR JOURNALISTS REMAIN FREE ON PERSONAL

RECOGNIZANCE. NO COURT DATE HAS BEEN SET.

 

WHITEHEAD

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

>

(9 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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