Editors Appeal to Harare Court Over Falsehood Charges

HARARE– Two senior journalists charged with publishing falsehoods in Zimbabwe about the detention of 18 activists on Tuesday appealed to have their case referred to the Supreme Court.

Vincent Kahiya, editor of the weekly Zimbabwe Independent, and the paper’s news editor Constantine Chimakure were arrested over a story that named security agents involved in the abductions last year of activists accused of plotting to overthrow long-ruling President Robert Mugabe.

The journalists’ lawyer, Innocent Chagonda, asked magistrate Lazarus Murendo that the matter be referred to the constitutional court saying his clients’ rights have been infringed upon.

“The Attorney Generals office is the complainant and it is clear from the line up of witnesses that they are the complainant and they are the prosecutors,” Chagonda told the court.

“We cannot have a case where the Attorney General has an interest and prosecutes on the case and on that basis we request the Supreme Court to give guidance on what is proper and what is not proper.

“We apply that the case be referred to the Supreme Court, we submit that it is important that the Supreme Court decides on this matter as it is a matter of public importance. It is critical that fundamental rights of freedom expression be determined by the Supreme Court.”

The journalists were arrested and charged last month, but later released on bail of 200 dollars each.-AFP

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