Zimbabwe newspaper editor to spend night in remand prison

The editor of The Standard newspaper who handed over himself to the police on Tuesday morning has been detained after he was formally charged of communicating falsehoods.

Nevanji Madanhire was being sought by the police in connection with a  story written by the paper’s Bulawayo based correspondent Nqobani Ndlovu alleging that the force was recruiting war veterans and retired officers.

Ndlovu said his sources told him the veterans will direct operations ahead of next year’s elections.

The reporter spent eight days in custody before he was granted bail by the High Court last week.

Madanhire who was accompanied by his lawyer Chris Mhike spent almost the whole day waiting at the police station.

A detention order was finally signed just before 5 PM after the investigating officers pretended to be organising that he does not spend a night in the cells.

He is charged under Section 31 (B) (II) (C) of Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Part of the section criminalises the publication of statements that undermine “public confidence in a law enforcement agency.”

If convicted, the journalist will be “liable to a fine of up to or exceeding level fourteen or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 20 years or both.”

Analysts have blamed the clampdown on journalists on Zanu PF hardliners who want to control the flow of information ahead of next year’s elections. –