Zimbabwe’s NewsDay journalist arrested over story on first lady’s underwear donation

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Sweet love. President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace. PHOTO/FACEBOOK

By PATRICK MAYOYO

newsdesk@reporter.co.ke

The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Zimbabwean authorities to immediately release NewsDay journalist Kenneth Nyangani and drop all charges against him.

Nyangani was arrested yesterday and charged with criminal nuisance for reporting that First Lady Grace Mugabe had donated used underwear to supporters of the country’s ruling ZANU-PF party, his lawyer, Passmore Nyakureba, told CPJ.

CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal.

Police first indicated they would charge the journalist with criminal defamation, which has been declared unconstitutional by the country’s court, Nyakureba was quoted as saying by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

“Zimbabwean authorities should stop harassing Kenneth Nyangani and release him immediately without charge,” said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal.

Ms Quintal said the fact that police had to fish for a new charge because their first accusation was unconstitutional shows that the arrest of Nyangani is aimed squarely at intimidating Zimbabwean journalists into self-censorship.

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