NEWSDAY assistant editor Nqaba Matshazi and reporter Xolisani Ncube have been released on $200 bail each by a Harare magistrate who further remanded them to January 27, 2016.
They are being accused of publishing a story which claimed that President Robert Mugabe went behind all other civil servants to award 2015 bonuses to the country’s central intelligence when the rest of the public service including the military were yet to receive theirs.
The story appeared in the private daily’s Wednesday edition.
Harare magistrate Elijah Makomo, who presided over the case, further ordered the pair to report once every Friday at Harare Central police and to surrender their passports.
They were further ordered to continue residing at their last known addresses and not to interfere with state witnesses.
The two are being charged under a section of the Criminal Law (Codification and reform) Act, which criminalises “communicating or publishing false statement prejudicial to the State”.
Their arrest has been slammed by media groups as an infringement by the state into free expression.