Arrested Zim Editor Gets Bail

Harare magistrate Don Ndirowei remanded Nevanji Madanhire, the editor of The Standard out of custody on US$100 bail.

This was after the state consented to an application by Madanhire’s lawyer Chris Mhike for his client to be remanded out of custody.

The journalist will appear in court on December 16 and was ordered to report at the Harare Central Police Station’s law and order section on Friday every week.

He was also ordered to remain at his given address and not interfere with witness.

Ndirowei also ordered the state to investigate a complaint by Madanhire’s lawyer that his client was detained for 24 hours despite the fact that he handed himself over to the police.

Madanhire reported at the police station on Tuesday accompanied by his lawyer after he was told that police had come to the newspaper’s offices looking for him.

He was detained at Rhodesville police station before he was taken to court on Wednesday afternoon.

Mhike said the police conduct reflected a worrying trend where they detained suspects beyond the time permitted in the constitution.

Madanhire’s case is linked to the arrest of Nqobani Ndlovu, a reporter with The Standard based in Bulawayo.

The High Court last week ordered Ndlovu’s release after he was arrested for authoring the story that the police claim was false.

The journalists are charged under Section 31 (B) (II) (C) of Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Part of the section criminalises the publication of statements that undermine “public confidence in a law enforcement agency.”

If convicted, the journalists will be “liable to a fine of up to or exceeding level fourteen or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 20 years or both.”

Analysts have blamed the clampdown on journalists on Zanu PF hardliners who want to control the flow of information ahead of next year’s elections.