New charges against Beitbridge journalist

MISA-Zimbabwe Alert Update

13 June 2016

Journalist Wellington Mukanhaire has been summoned by the State to appear in court yet again but on different charges following his February 2016 arrest in Zimbabwe’s southern border town of Beitbridge.

Mukanhaire was initially charged with contravention of Section 83 (1) of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) which criminalised practicing journalism without accreditation. However, the charges were withdrawn before plea in March 2016 upon realisation that the offence no longer exists following its repeal in 2007.

The journalist who works for The Messenger weekly newspaper, is now being charged under Section 78 (2) of AIPPA which criminalises holding oneself as an accredited journalist without being so accredited. The offence attracts a maximum level fine or imprisonment not exceeding two years or to both fine and imprisonment.

Mukanhaire is set to appear in court on Wednesday 15 June 2016.

About MISA Zimbabwe

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.