POLICE yesterday morning picked up and detained Zimbabwe Independent editor Vincent Kahiya, reporter Augustine Mukaro and group general manager Raphael Khumalo over a story published almost two
The story, written by Mukaro and published on July 30, allegedly said assessors in the treason trial of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, had blocked Judge President Paddington Garwe from handing down a judgement before they could review transcripts of the trial.
Linda Cook of Atherstone & Cook who represented the Independent staff said yesterday the three were charged under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The three were released yesterday afternoon and ordered to return to Harare Central police station on Tuesday. It is undersood that from there they would go to a remand hearing.
Cook said the Independent staffers were charged under Section 80 (sub-section c ii) B of Aippa relating to “abuse of journalistic privilege”.
“The charges emanate from the Attorney-General’s office,” Cook said. “The police confirmed that the complainant was the Judge President himself,” she said.
“The charges do not disclose any offence. Not only that, there is no prospect of the charges being sustained. It is alleged that it was incorrect to say that the judgement was postponed to give the assessors access to the transcript of the trial.”
“Yet the registrar of the High Court has issued an official statement to confirm this was the case,” Cook said.
Cook said the police appeared to need more time to complete investigations and therefore have asked the three to return on Tuesday.