via CIO story reporters out on $200 bail each – NewZimbabwe 08/01/2016
TWO NewsDay journalists who were arrested this week for publishing a story about CIO bonuses have been granted bail after they appeared at the Harare magistrate courts Friday.
Both Nqaba Matshazi (deputy editor) and Xolisani Ncube (reporter) were granted $200 bail each by magistrate Elijah Makomo.
The two spent the night in detention at Harare Central after they were picked up from their offices for publishing a story which revealed that the CIO were paid their December salaries and bonuses while the rest of the government workers went for the festive season holiday without their wages.
They will appear again on 27 January 2016.
Makomo ordered the two scribes to pay $200 bail each, surrender their passports to the clerk of court, report once every Friday at Harare Central Police’s CID offices, reside at their given addresses and not to interfere with witnesses.
The court also released without conditions AMH, the publishers of the NewsDay which was being represented by Sifikile Thabete.
Sharon Mashavira, who was representing the state, did not oppose the granting of bail to the journalists.
The reporters’ attorneys, Taona Nyamakura and Mzo Mbuyiso of Mtetwa & Nyambirai Legal Practitioners who are members of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said they are going to file another application challenging the constitutionality of the charges of his clients before their next court appearance.
The two are being charged with contravening Section 31 (1) (ii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly publishing falsehoods.
They had published a story on Wednesday claiming that while most civil servants went on Christmass and New Year’s holidays penniless members of the secret service received their salaries and bonuses on 21 December and 31 December respectively.