Detained Zim Journo Goes To Supreme Court

Ndlovu was arrested on 17 November following the publication of a story headlined, “Police exams cancelled”. The story alleged that retired police officers and war veterans had been re-called to take up vacant top posts in the police force where they will be directing operations during next year’s elections.

On Monday Ndlovu through his lawyer Josphat Tshuma of Webb Low and Barry made an application before Magistrate Sibongile  Msipa seeking that the matter be referred to Supreme Court so that he can challenge  charges of contravening   Section 31 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.  

“Your worship we are seeking that the matter be referred to the Supreme Court so that we can challenge Section 31 of the Criminal Law and Codification and Reform Act as we feel it does not constitute a crime and should be struck off Zimbabwe’s Constitution,” Tshuma told Magistrate Msipa . 

Magistrate Msipa postponed  the  matter  to 25 January  2011 saying that she will  give a  ruling  whether   to  refer  this  matter  to  Supreme  Court  or  not on this day.

Initially, Ndlovu was being charged with contravening Section 96 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act but on the  second day of his arrest he was also charged with contravening Section 31 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Meanwhile journalists on Friday evening in Bulawayo held a “Nqobani Ndlovu bash” at the Press Club to welcome him back after spending 10 days in prison. The bash was sponsored by MISA Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile two men suspected to be intelligence operatives are hunting down an editor of a local independent weekly newspaper, The Standard.

The two in dark glasses and ‘looking serious’ arrived at the doorstep of Walter Marwizi’s flat in Harare Sunday night and asked to see to the deputy editor.

A source aware of the activities of the suspected state agents said the two demanded to see the journalist and were told that he was away on family business.

They promised to come back.

Around 4:30 Monday morning the two men knocked at the flat again where they were told that he had not come back.

Quizzed on why they were looking for him at such an ungodly hour, the suspected Central Intelligence Organization operatives refused to disclose the reason of their mission.

They left after promising to come back in the evening and said they will not rest until they get him.

At around 9 in the morning, uniformed police details stormed the Standard Offices and requested to see Marwizi.

It is suspected to be another clampdown on the media ahead of elections as ZANU PF wants to silence a critical media.

On Friday, another Standard journalist based in Bulawayo, Nqobani Ndlovu, who was charged with criminal defamation after writing a story about retired police being re-called to take top posts ahead of elections, was released after spending eight days in remand prison.

On Sunday, The Standard carried a story written by Marwizi about Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo’s obscene wealth which had caused uproar among Zimbabweans, who asked how the former university lecturer acquired so much wealth in such a short space of time.

It is suspected the police action could be related to that.