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on arrest of Standard journalists
Media Council of Zimbabwe
November 16, 2011
Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) condemns in the strongest terms
possible the arrest on Tuesday this week of Standard Editor, Nevanji
Madanhire, and reporter Nqaba Matshazi on charges of criminal defamation
and theft of documents from Green Card Medical Aid Society.
The arrest of
the two follows the recent publication of an article in which the
newspaper wrote of the possibility of the medical aid society's
The police are
charging the two under Section 113 of the Criminal
Code for theft of documents and Section 96 of the code for criminal
VMCZ calls for
the immediate release of the two journalists and implores the police
to desist from harassing and arresting journalists on unsubstantiated,
unproven and frivolous charges.
While the VMCZ
is cognisant that police have a role to play in maintaining law
and order in the country, we urge the police to resort to the mechan
ism put in place to deal with cases with such charges as those involving
the Standard journalists.
It is against
this background that VMCZ urges all Zimbabweans, who have a problem
with a media story as is published by print or broadcast media in
the country to approach the VMCZ Media Complaints Committee, set
up by the journalists, to seek redress.
the arrest of the two as part of a growing campaign to intimidate
the media and muzzle the press, in a bid to stop journalists from
unearthing corrupt practises.
VMCZ also calls
on the inclusive government to condemn the police actions. The government
must demonstrate its commitment to the principles of accountability
by enforcing freedom of expression as stated in Article 19 of the
the VMCZ fact
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