Back to Index
August 27, 2007
The trial of
Gift Phiri who is facing charges of contravening Section 79 (1)
of the repressive Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) opened
at the Harare Magistrate Court on 27 August 2007.
Phiri, whose charge relates
to practicing journalism without accreditation between August 2006
and April 2007 pleaded not guilty to stringing for The Zimbabwean.
At the commencement of
the trial, the defence team of Beatrice Mtetwa and Harrison Nkomo
together with MISA-Zimbabwe Legal Officer Wilbert Mandinde raised
the issue of the outstanding investigations into the torture and
detention of Phiri as ordered by the remand court on 5 April 2007.
Phiri was allegedly severely assaulted by the police while in custody
following his arrest in Harare on 1 April 2007.
Mtetwa, who is the team
leader told Harare Magistrate Stanley Chimedza that in terms of
Section 71 of the Magistrate Court Act, the court can find anyone
who disobeys its orders to be in contempt of court and urged the
court to consider bringing contempt of court proceedings against
the police who have failed, neglected or simply refused to come
up with a report on the torture and over- detention allegations.
The prosecutor Editor
Mavuto led evidence from Academy Bvumai Chinamora who is the Principal
Research, Investigations and Monitoring Officer with the Media and
Information Commission (MIC). Chinamora, who stated that the MIC's
accreditation is valid from January to December of each year, confirmed
that Phiri was accredited for 2006. He further confirmed that Phiri
enquired and later collected the accreditation form but alleged
that he never submitted the application for this year.
Chinamora was asked whether Tafataona Mahoso the MIC chairman, who
contributes a section in The Sunday Mail, Nathaniel Manheru who
writes for The Herald every Saturday, Goodwills Masimirembwa who
contributes regularly to The Herald and the Sunday Mail and Vote
Muza who writes a legal section in The Financial Gazette are accredited
as journalists. He confirmed that all the four are not accredited.
Chinamora who alleged
that Phiri is employed by The Zimbabwean was asked to produce Phiri's
contract of employment but failed to do so.
Chinamora who stated
that the MIC did not have the register of applications for accreditation
forms confirmed that the MIC had not yet completed processing applications
for the 2007 accreditation year, stating that the outstanding applications
were only a few from rural areas such as Mberengwa and Gokwe. He,
however, admitted that some journalists from Harare had submitted
their applications for accreditation forms but were still to be
The trial continues on
28 August 2007 when the state is expected to call a detective Inspector
Rangwani who was one of the arresting officers.
the MISA-Zimbabwe fact
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.