ALPHA Media Holdings’ (AMH) NewsDay deputy editor Nqaba Matshazi and reporter Xolisani Ncube were on Thursday morning arrested on charges of publishing falsehoods, after the daily reported a story alleging secret payment of outstanding bonuses to Central Intelligence Organisation officials.
On January 6 2016, NewsDay reported that government last year clandestinely paid CIO operatives their salaries on December 21 before paying annual bonuses 10 days later despite postponing, several times, the payment to the rest of the civil servants.
About five plain clothes police swooped on NewsDay offices in Harare in the evening of January 6 2016 looking for Matshazi who was not present at the time.
When asked on the purpose of the visit, the police said “they wanted to talk” Matshazi, who is currently the acting editor.
Matshazi and Ncube are being charged under Section 31 of the Criminal Codification Act which criminalises the publication of falsehoods.
The two, who are being represented by Taona Nyamakura and Mzothuthula Mbuyiso of Mtetwa and Nyambirai legal practitioners, were to appear in court today.
The arrests of the two AMH employees come barely two months after the arrest of state media journalists Mabasa Sasa, Brian Chitemba and Tinashe Farawo who are now out on bail.
The trio are alleged to have published falsehoods relating to a story which claimed that a top cop was involved in the poaching of elephants.-Staff Writer