Nqaba Matshazi and Xolisani Ncube journalists with NewsDay charged with publishing falsehoods in breach of section 31 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act were on 8 January 2016 granted $200 bail each after spending a night in police custody.
Sifikile Thabete, legal secretary of Alpha Media Holdings publishers of NewsDay, who is the third accused, was released on free bail when the trio appeared before Harare magistrate Elisha Makomo.
The case in point arose from a story published by NewsDay titled: CIO “secretly” get bonuses. On 6 January 2016, NewsDay reported that the government had last year ‘quietly’ paid CIO operatives their annual bonuses despite postponing, several times, paying the salaries of civil servants.
They were asked to report once weekly to the police, surrender their passports and reside at their ordinary places of residence.
Meanwhile, defence counsel told the magistrate of their intention to make an application for referral of the matter to the Constitutional Court challenging the validity of the preferred charge.