Journalists recused from testifying in Gushungo Dairy bombing case

By Staff Reporter

High Court Judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi on Monday recused freelance journalists Mlondolozi Ndlovu, Malvern Mkudu and Media Centre director Ernest Mudzengi from testifying as state witnesses in a treason case relating to the bombing of Gushungo Dairy.

The trio had been summoned last week but their lawyer Chris Mhike objected to them testifying as state witnesses for reasons which are yet to be disclosed.

In a communique, Misa Zimbabwe said the trio will, however, make their submissions later on in the trial.

The case arises from articles that were written on the 21st August last year by journalist Mlondolozi Ndlovu and Watmore Makokoba from a press conference convened by the accused Owen Kuchata at New Ambassador Hotel.

Kuchata was later arrested together with Borman Ngwenya, Solomon Makumbe and Silas Pfupa while in possession of Molotov cocktails that they allegedly wanted to use to bomb Alpha Omega Dairies and Gushungo Estates, owned by President Robert Mugabe and his family.

Kuchata is now serving 9 years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to charges of possession of weaponry for sabotage, and money laundering for terrorism purposes.

The Zimbabwe constitution Section 61 (2) says, “Every person is entitled to freedom of the media, which freedom includes protection of the confidentiality of journalists sources of information’ however, these rights continue to be infringed upon.

Last year in August, Newsday senior reporter Richard Chidza was questioned by the police in Harare in connection with the source of a communique issued by war veterans which denounced President Robert Mugabe, calling him a dictator.

Cases of journalists getting harassed, brutalised and detained while in the line of duty continues to rise.

 

 

 

 

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