ConCourt Summons Mnangagwa As Sacked Journalist Wins Landmark Ruling

via RadioVop Zimbabwe – ConCourt Summons Mnangagwa As Sacked Journalist Wins Landmark Ruling by Professor Matodzi October 30, 2013

Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court (ConCourt) on Wednesday summoned Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa to appear before the Supreme to defend the constitutionality of some provisions of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act after the law was declared unconstitutional.

The ConCourt granted the order after suspended and former Zimbabwe Independent journalist Constantine Chimakure and the newspaper’s former editor Vincent Kahiya, who now serves as Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) Group Editor-In-Chief petitioned the highest court challenging the constitutionality of some provisions of the law under which the State had relied upon in prosecuting the two journalists.

Chimakure and Kahiya were arrested in 2009 and charged with publishing false statements to the effect that some law enforcement agents abducted some political and human rights campaigners during in late 2008. The Zimbabwe Independent report contained the names of police officers and state security agents who were implicated in the abductions of human rights campaigner Jestina Mukoko and other activists.

In his 81-page judgment, Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba ruled that Mnangagwa should appear if he so wishes before the Supreme Court on 20 November to show cause why Section 31 (a) (iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act should not be declared to be in contravention of Section 20 (1) of the Constitution.

The ConCourt ruled that Section 31 (a) (iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act is unconstitutional as it contravenes the declaration of the fundamental right to freedom of expression under Section 20 (1) of the Constitution.

“It has not been shown that Section 31 (a) (iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act is not in contravention of Section 20 of the Constitution,” reads part of the judgement.

The landmark judgment which will draw celebrations from journalists operating in Zimbabwe’s tough media environment comes at a time when Chimakure is serving a suspension from employment following the publication in August of two stories which the AMH, the publishers of NewsDay which Chimakure edited, said did not conform to set journalistic ethical standards. A hearing has already been conducted where Chimakure defended himself against the allegations.



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    I hope truth, justice and sanity prevail.

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    Doris 10 years ago

    Don’t hold your breath DL! This is Mnangagwa they are dealing with.

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    It is to be hoped that the public are represented and this reporter goes to jail.
    Journalists are irresponsible all members of the public are fed up with irresponsible news reporting.
    There needs to be a deterrent and journalists need to obey the same laws we do.
    If we shout bomb at the airport we go to jail as we disturb and cause alarm at the airport affecting passengers and staff.
    If journalist say our president is dying in hospital in Singapore they have freedom of expression to lie and cause alarm to the nation – arrest them and jail them.
    A drunk in a bar defaced the presidents photo and was fined $150 journalist show disrespect to the president all the time with statement where they call him simply by his surname – they say it is right to jail a drunk but a journalist is above the law with freedom of expression.- put them in jail and protect the public from them.
    What qualifications have they got to be above the law other than they lie in the Zimbabwe news media.

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      Jrr56 10 years ago

      Basically the drunk in a bar should never have been jailed, the journalist for publishing what you don not like to hear even less so. I see you take the liberty of freedom of expression for your self. Oh and by the way Mugabe is his name, since when is it compulsory to be a boot licker at the same time.

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        Jrr Its called respect and you call the President, president.
        It is allowed to stae the truth – journalists have and do lie in the press, they admit this bit say its their right which is untrue, where it affects the public.
        Hence my statements’ are based on truth and I do not claim any freedom of expression for telling the truth.
        More recently their was some propaganda about the elephants which were widely exaggerated and blamed zanu.
        There is now a factual account published which reports actual figures and who is responsible – will the original journalist apologize- no chance its freedom of expression to lie and damage others repute as a journalist- I think not.

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    gorongoza 10 years ago

    John, I think you didnt understand the story. That piece of law has been decalared unconstitutional by the Constututional Court! Singing for your supper is another story for another day! lets hope they take note of your excitement to defennd the indefinsible and reward you with 2 pieces of diamonds!

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      Laws may be amended and you need to read the constitution properly or have another explain it to you – the constitution does not state anywhere that journalists are above the law.
      The constitutional court has never declared any law unconstitutional journalists can resist lying when they don’t know the answer or truth.
      You need to do more research before commenting.

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    chaporonga 10 years ago

    I,a nobody would not want to have my photo in a bar Jonny. Food for thought.

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    Valour Museyamwa 10 years ago

    John,nobody should be forced to respect somebody. I do not respect the sitting president because he is illegitimate. He is doing exactly what he went to war to fight against, exactly what Ian Smith used to do. I respected him during the liberation struggle when he fought for our country, but now he has los all my respect. Journalists have kept all the marauding politicians under check. At least as citizens we still have some measure of dignity because of journalists. Just like MDC. Had it not for MDC land was not going to be given to the people

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    @ John

    I bet you are a border gezi recruit. Just tell me is it a force matter to respect the president? Why? If I call him names that’s because I believe he doesn’t deserve respect from me. If I insult my neighbour I don’t go to jail but if I insult Mugabe I’m taken to court, why? Is he God. Just because one is the president does not mean that his subjects have to respect him because respect is earned by ones deeds. Remember that their are people who voted for him and people who didn’t and those who didn’t still don’t respect him because he doent deserve the respect. Didn’t Mugabe tell other Presidents to go hang. So should they come and arrest him? After all they have the military might. Bet you are one of those goons working at Munumutapa alongside your so called ‘Respectable President’. Mugabe is a liar, thief, good for nothing but making our lives miserable. Am I wrong? So should I be arrested? Why? If your answers are ‘yes’ for all my questions then go hang with your president.

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      There are a few like you who don’t have respect for any one that isc the problem – in asny society there is a need to respect the law, police and those who lead. Malcontents who have no respect whose parents didn’t teach them respect become and turn into criminals costing innocent lives. It is from your admission the public who needs protection from the likes of you so that society may advance.
      You need discipline and education

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        @ John

        I have never seen such level of lack of logic. VaMugabe vakaba ndakati imbavha ndonzi handina respect ndosungwa. Nekufunga kwako zvakakwana here izvozvo. Ndonzi I need to be discplined. Of all comments on this forum how many are on your side? Why? I think I’m rather wasting my time and energy trying to debate with you!!!

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          There is no debate people need to respect
          t the law and educational facilities need to ensure their students understand this or expel them.
          Thats where civilization begins.
          Some one who cant understand this should ask someone educated it is not a matter for debate.
          It is very easy to understand, you don’t like being told you need discipline justifiably because you have no respect but say you are allowed to insult or journalists are, What we see is the selfish who are undisciplined want different rules for them, only they are allowed to disrespect and be indisiplined.
          The problem needs no debate its simply to understand and you have just proved it.

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    Munyaradzi 10 years ago

    Shame, shame, shame on Mugabe and Jonathan Moyo! They must go hang because they don’t deserve my respect. Then, am I supposed to get arrested when Mugabe said the same to Britain and America and he never got arrested. His are just wild kicks of a dying horse.

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      Thing is with a bit of education you will realize Zimbabwe is a nation on its own we are not required to respect other countries who do not respect our country. however the basis of education and society is to respect authority – we have malcontents who don’t in all societies the US locks them in an off shore prison to protect the US public. All societies need to protect us from those whose parents didn’t use a stick if necessary to teach them discipline and respect, to respect laws.
      It is not societies fault your parents didn’t teach you and you have no consideration for any one, its yours. You don’t have to go to jail to learn, you can teach yourself if you use your brain.

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    Fallenz 10 years ago

    After some thought, I’ve drawn the following regarding poor John.

    Such outlandish comments as his either come from a North Korean-styled brain washing, or some mental incompetence for which he can not be held accountable. Of course, there are two other possibilities… he’s been on the CIO payroll only a couple days, and trying to impress… or, he’s a control freak who doesn’t believe a word he writes, but knows it’ll garner him attention. Take your pick. For me, his comments aren’t worthy a response. I don’t discuss rational issues with someone who presents intellectually-dishonest retorts. Although entertaining, and perhaps of value to sharpen wits, it’s also an exercise in futility if the goal is to have meaningful debate, and therefore, a waste of time… of which I am guilty for having written this…!!!

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      Fallenz, thought requires the use of your brain and education/ responsibility. Responsible comments like mine will not be understood by those with no consideration for other and no respect for law and order, their only ability being destruction of all that is good.
      If you don’t understand respect and consideration don’t quote other countries that you don’t understand either get educated and don’t waste space with stupid anti society comments because your character is in a mess.

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    Estevao P. Mukaro 10 years ago

    Mugabe is just Mugabe. Was he born ‘President’?

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    Revenger-avenger 10 years ago

    The salivating cobras black mambas have summoned criminal munangaggars to the snakepit at our new chikurubi. Watch this space guys. Kikikikikikikikikikikikikiki

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      Revenger-avenger, just the kind of comment expected from those without respect or education.
      It will be accepted by those trying to debate the obvious like SADC above.