Journalist’s trial postponed


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The trial of Daily News reporter Lloyd Mudiwa, who was charged with publishing falsehoods after his report that a woman was supposedly beheaded by Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front supporters, was postponed.

According to Daily News assistant editor Bill Saidi, the trial was postponed because the government decided to charge Daily News editor Geoff   Nyarota and reporter Collin Chiwanza with the same offense and try all three journalists at the same time.

The story has since been disproved.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 02HARARE1568, JOURNALIST’S TRIAL POSTPONED

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02HARARE1568

2002-07-03 08:30

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 001568

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/PD, AF/S , AF/RA

NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PREL PHUM KPAO ZI

SUBJECT: JOURNALIST’S TRIAL POSTPONED

 

 

1.   The trial of “Daily News” reporter Lloyd Mudiwa

has been postponed. Mudiwa was charged on April 30

with “publishing falsehoods” because of his report

about a woman supposedly beheaded by ruling party

supporters. That story has since been disproved. On

June 20 Mudiwa presented himself to the Harare

Magistrates’ Court as ordered, but was told to return

on July 22.

 

2.   According to “Daily News” Assistant Editor Bill

Saidi, the trial was postponed because the government

decided to charge “Daily News” editor-in-chief Geoff

Nyarota and reporter Collin Chiwanza with the same

offense and try all three journalists at the same

time. The government, apparently, needs additional

time to draw up the charges against Nyarota and

Chiwanza.

 

3.   Developing charges against Chiwanza may involve

some interesting legal contortions. He and Mudiwa

were arrested together on April 30 and spent two

nights in jail, joined by Amcit journalist Andrew

Meldrum on May 1. Harare magistrate Lillian Kudya,

however, withdrew the charges against Chiwanza on May

7, stating that he “did not contribute to the initial

false publication.” In a society in which rule of law

prevailed, charging Chiwanza with the same offense for

a second time would likely be seen as double jeopardy.

 

SULLIVAN

 

(14 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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