Zim Journos Cleared Of Writing Falsehoods

Nevanji Madanhire, editor of the independent newspaper, The Standard, and reporter Patience Nyangove were arrested in June after the paper published a story about the arrest of Jameson Timba, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office.

Timba was arrested for allegedly calling President Robert Mugabe a liar after they differed over the interpretation of the outcome of Sadc summit held in Johannesburg.

The paper quoted people fearing for the minister’s safety after police refused him access to lawyers and family.

Madanhire and Nyangove were also charged with defaming the police.

But when they appeared for routine remand, the prosecution indicated that the charges of publishing false information that put state security at risk and undermined the authority of police and security forces had been dropped.

On the defamation charge, the State said the complainant Superintendent Crispen Makedenge needs two weeks to decide whether he still wanted the case to proceed.

The two journalists will appear in court again on September 16.

Makedenge took exception to being described as notorious in the story and said he was not among the detectives who arrested Timba.

The minister is now demanding US$250 000 from police commissioner General Augustine Chihuri and two other detectives for wrongful arrest.