“The Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) expresses grave concern at the arrests of Daily News journalists, Mr. Stanley Gama (Editor) and Mr. Xolisani Ncube (reporter) on Friday the 2nd of December 2011,” the VMCZ said in a statement Friday.
“Mr. Ncube was picked by the police just outside the Daily news offices over the newspaper’s lead story of the 10thof November 2011 headed, “Chombo brags about riches”. The paper’s editor, Mr. Gama had to surrender himself at Harare Central police station after the detectives had visited the Daily News’ offices looking for him.”
The two journalists were arrested over the story penned by Ncube and Chombo has been cited as the complaint, the VMCZ said.
Daily News assistant editor, Guthrie Munyuki confirmed that Ncube and Gama have been released.”The police said they will proceed by way of summons,”he said.
Chombo has been in the media over the past years after newspapers published several that the minister amassed over the years. The details of the properties came to light after Chombo’s estranged wife, Marian went to court demanding her estate after divorcing his husband.
“The VMCZ urges members of the public to approach the Media Complaints Committee (MCC) to raise their complaints on stories that they may deem inaccurate or unfair,”the VMCZ said.
“The preference of criminal defamation charges against journalists and media houses is patently undemocratic and can only be viewed as an affront to the right to freedom of expression and access to information that is guaranteed in Section 20 of Zimbabwe’s Constitution. It is in this regard that the VMCZ wishes to express deep regret that political leaders would seek recourse to criminal defamation charges against journalists.”