AMH journalist Mhlanga acquitted on charges of disorderly conduct
Alpha Media Holdings journalist Blessed Mhlanga was on 15 September 2022 acquitted on charges of disorderly conduct in a polling station as defined in terms of Section 89 of the Electoral Act.
This comes after Mhlanga and his colleague Chengeto Chidi were on 29 July 2022 also acquitted on charges of taking photographs within a polling station.
At that time, Mhlanga and Chidi were charged for contravening Section 25 (a) as read with Section 30 of Statutory Instrument 21/2005, which prohibits taking of photographs within a polling station.
The alternative charge was that of disorderly conduct in a polling station as defined in Section 89 of the Electoral Act. On 29 July 2022 Chitungwiza magistrate Sheunesu Matova, acquitted Chidi on both charges.
However, Mhlanga was put to his defence on the alternative charge of disorderly conduct. He was subsequently acquitted of the charge on 15 September 2022.
Lawyer Jeremiah Bamu, who was deployed by MISA Zimbabwe, successfully represented the two journalists.
AMH are the publishers of NewsDay, Zimbabwe Independent and Standard newspapers as well as being the proprietors of HStv
MISA Zimbabwe welcomes Mhlanga’s acquittal on the charge he was still facing and hopes that this will go a long way in reinforcing and buttressing the right to media freedom and for journalists to conduct their professional duties without hinderance as provided for by the Constitution.
We therefore urge all key stakeholders including the police and political parties, to ensure that journalists undertake their professional duties without any form of harassment or unjustified interference.
SOS journalists hotline
If you are injured, detained or arrested ín the line of duty, call our 24/7 SOS journalist hotline on 0784 437 338 to access legal and/or medical assistance.
Don’t forget to have the number saved in your phone for emergencies!
Find out more about the hotline here.
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1992. 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.
Latest media violations
Journalist Blessed Mhlanga