Mutare-based freelance journalist granted bail
Mutare based freelance journalist, Kenneth Nyangani, who was on 2 October, 2017 arrested over a story alleging that Zimbabwe’s First Lady Grace Mugabe had donated second hand underwear to Mutare residents, has been granted $200 bail.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Passmore Nyakureba and Peggy Tawagadza, represented Nyangani, whose story was published on the same day of his arrest, by the Alpha Media Holdings Daily Newspaper, The Newsday.
In the story, titled Grace donates used underwear, Member of Parliament for Mutare’s Dangamvura-Chikanga Constituency, Esau Mupfumi allegedly handed over the donation at a meeting which was held with residents of Ward 16 that includes Dangamvura and Gimboki suburbs.
Nyangani is charged under Section 46 of the Criminal Law and Codification (Reform) Act for criminal nuisance.
In the State outline, arising from Mupfumi’s police report, the donations from the First Lady were brand new, and also included pairs of sandals, golf t-shirts, handbags and men’s boxer shorts.
The publication of the article as well as its circulation on social media, ‘caused discomfort, hurt and humiliation to the Informant and the recipients of the goods’, reads the outline.
Nyangani, who signed a warned and cautioned statement, denied the charges and stated that he was held for 18 hours without being told his charge and that his rights to practice as a journalist had been ‘seriously threatened’.
He was remanded to 18 October, 2017.
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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.