Freelance Journalist Summoned To Appear In Court

The journalists will be state witnesses in the criminal defamation case against Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda and eight councillors on allegations of defaming businessman Philip Chiyangwa.

Gama’s lawyer, Selby Hwacha, confirmed to MISA-Zimbabwe that the police recorded a statement from his client at Harare Central Police Station on Tuesday. The case arises from the publication of a story published in The Sunday Times of South Africa exposing an alleged massive land scandal involving the Minister of Local Government Ignatius Chombo and Chiyangwa.

Vincent Kahiya the Zimbabwe Independent editor- in- chief, Standard editor Nevanji Madanhire and reporters Feluna Nleya and Jennifer Dube will also be appearing in court following publication of a related story carried in the weekly’s edition of 28 March to 3 April 2010.

The story revealed that a special Harare council committee investigating the allocation of land had recommended that Chiyangwa should be arrested for alleged corruption.

The story was based on a 54-page report titled: Special Investigations Committees report on City of Harare’s Land Sales, Leases and Exchanges from the period October 2004 to December 2009.

The state alleges that the mayor and the councilors defamed Chiyangwa by leaking the report whose contents were published by the Standard and The Sunday Times of South Africa before it was debated by the full council.