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Community news activist acquitted
The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
December 12, 2012

Kariba magistrate Felix Chauromwe on Thursday, 13 December 2012 acquitted community news activist, Kudakwashe Matura, who was being charged with criminal defamation. Kariba is a town in Northern Zimbabwe.

The ruling came after Matura's lawyer, Tapiwa Muchineripi, made an application for discharge at the close of the state case. He argued that the state had failed to prove its case against the defendant, noting that there had been no evidence adduced to prove that Matura had published the article in question.

In his ruling, Chauromwe upheld the submissions made by Muchineripi, highlighting that the state had not adduced evidence to satisfy the necessary elements for the charge of criminal defamation.

Background

Matura was arrested on Monday, 8 October 2012 after a Sam Mawuwa lodged a complaint, alleging that a story published in the Kariba News newsletter about him was defamatory.

Matura was facing criminal defamation charges under Section 96 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. Tapiwa Muchineripi, the lawyer representing him, is from the Media Lawyers Network.

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