Editor arrested for publishing advert insulting Mugabe


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The editor of the Daily News, Nqobile Nyathi, was arrested, charged and released on 26 June 2003 for publishing adverts insulting President Robert Mugabe.

Nyathi was charged under the Public Order and Security Act for publishing adverts by the Movement for Democratic Change which showed a cartoon character of Mugabe being chased by a crowd led by a cartoon character of MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Part of the wording of the advert read: “Do you recognise him: Thief! Thief! Thief!”

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 03HARARE1373, MEDIA REPORT EDITOR CHARGED UNDER POSA; HARARE

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

03HARARE1373

2003-07-08 09:41

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.

UNCLAS HARARE 001373

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/PDPA FOR DALTON, MITCHELL AND SIMS

NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PREL PHUM KPAO KMDR ZI

SUBJECT: MEDIA REPORT EDITOR CHARGED UNDER POSA; HARARE

 

1.   Nqobile Nyathi, Editor of the independent daily

“The Daily News,” was arrested, charged and released

on June 26 under the controversial Public Order and

Security Act (POSA) for allegedly publishing adverts

insulting Robert Mugabe. The ostensibly illicit

adverts were placed in the newspaper by the

opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

They show a cartoon character of Robert Mugabe being

chased by a crowd led by a cartoon character of MDC

leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Part of the wording of

the advert reads: “Do you recognize him: Thief!

Thief! Thief!” Under Section 16 of POSA it is an

offense to “publicly and intentionally make any

false statement about or concerning the President. .

. .” The charge carries a fine of Z$100 000 or five

years imprisonment or both. Nyathi becomes the

third editor to be charged under POSA in June.

 

2.   On June 11 this year Francis Mdlongwa, the

Editor-in-Chief of the Associated Newspapers of

Zimbabwe (ANZ), publishers of “The Daily News”, was

also charged for publishing a mutinous advert

inserted by a group of Zimbabweans who said “they

were carrying out a mock trial of Mugabe,” when he

edited the independent weekly “The Financial

Gazette” in 2002. Bill Said, Editor of the ANZ

independent weekly “The Daily News on Sunday,” was

also charged on June 24 for allegedly publishing a

false story last year when he was assistant editor

of “The Daily News.”

 

SULLIVAN

 

(19 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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