ZLHR ends journalist’s two-day detention over publication of story on donation of used undergarments

MUTARE Magistrate Sekai Chiundura on Wednesday 04 October 2017 set free NewsDay journalist Kenneth Nyangani after granting him $200 bail following his arrest on Monday 02 October 2017 over a story published by the national newspaper on the donation of some used undergarments reportedly sourced by First Lady Grace Mugabe.

Nyangani, who was arrested on Monday 02 October 2017 by some Zimbabwe Republic Police members and is represented by Passmore Nyakureba.

Peggy Tavagadza and Brian Majamanda of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, was charged with criminal nuisance as defined in section 46 (2) (v) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 following the publication of a story published in Newsday newspaper’s edition of Monday 02 October 2017.

Newsday reported that Esau Mupfumi, the ZANU PF Member of Parliament for Chikanga-Dangamvura constituency handed over the donation from Grace comprising of used undergarments and night garbs to some ZANU PF party supporters at a meeting held in Mutare in Manicaland province over the weekend.

According to prosecutors, Mupfumi donated some “brand new goods” which were sourced by Grace and these included some men’s boxer shorts, some pairs of sandals, some T-shirts and hand bags.

The prosecutors claimed that by writing and publishing the story, Nyangani employed some means which are likely to interfere with ordinary comfort, convenience, peace or quiet of the public.

The State charged that the NewsDay article caused ordinary discomfort, hurt and humiliation to Mupfumi and the ZANU PF supporters, who were the recipients of the donated goods.

But Magistrate Chiundura on Wednesday 04 October 2017 ended Nyangani’s two-day detention after granting him $200 bail and ordering him to report once every week at Mutare Central Police Station and not to interfere with state witnesses including residing at his given residential address.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights