Journalist acquitted on charges of violating Covid-19 regulations

NewsDay journalist Rex Mphisa and Zimpapers sales representative Charles Marerwa were on 27 August 2020 acquitted by Magistrate Ania Chimweta on charges of violating the COVID-19 regulations.

The magistrate ruled that the State had failed to prove its case beyond any reasonable doubt.

Mphisa and Marerwa were arrested on 15 May 2020 in Dulivhadzimu, in Zimbabwe’s southern border town of Beitbridge.

They were charged with contravening Section 5 (1) as read with Section 4 of Statutory Instrument 83 of 2020 of the COVID-19 regulations which prohibit the gathering of more than two people in a public place.

They were also being charged with contravening the Liquor Act which prohibits public drinking.

Mphisa and Marerwa, who were on free bail, were represented by lawyer Jabulani Mzinyathi, who was engaged by MISA Zimbabwe.

MISA assists journalists who are injured, detained or arrested ín the line of duty, who should call our 24/7 SOS journalist hotline on 0784 437 338 to access legal and/or medical assistance.