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Journalists Mhlanga, Chidi freed on $20 000 bail each

HORIZONTAL

Zimstar News

Alpha Media Holdings journalists Blessed Mhlanga and Chengeto Chidi were on Monday freed after being ordered to pay $20 000 bail each by a Chitungwiza court.

The two were taken before a Chitungwiza magistrate after spending two nights in police custody.

They face charges of contravening electoral regulations or alternatively disorderly conduct in polling station.

The scribes were also ordered to report once every fortnight at Police Law and Order Section.

HORIZONTAL

Their trial has been set for 24 May 2022.

The two are accused of contravening Section 25 (a) as read with Section 30 of Statutory Instrument 21/2005 of the Electoral Regulations of 2005 “prohibition of taking photographs”.

The alternative charge is that of disorderly conduct in polling station as defined in Section 89 (2) of the Electoral Act Chapter 2:13.

The State alleges that on 7 May 2022, one or both of them, “acting in common purpose” took photographs or recorded a video within Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Chitungwiza Ward 7 Council by-elections, polling station tent B, without permission of the Constituency Elections Officer.

HORIZONTAL

Alternatively, Mhlanga and Chidi are accused of disorderly conduct in the immediate vicinity of a polling station by allegedly refusing to comply with an order” given by Superintendent Kufakunesu Matsika not to take pictures or video recording at the polling station.

According to the State, the cellphone and camera which were being used were recovered by the police and can be produced in court as evidence.

The journalists are being represented by practitioners from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

Posted ZLHR on Twitter Monday, “Our lawyer Tapiwa Muchineripi can now rest after working hard to ensure that journalists @bbmhlanga @ChidiChengeto & Chitungwiza resident Moses Hakata are reunited with their families & relatives following their arrest by ZRP on Saturday.”

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