Rights group slams arrest of journalist over Grace Mugabe 'used underwear' story

2017-10-04 12:53
Grace Mugabe (AFP)

Grace Mugabe (AFP)

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Cape Town - A rights group has slammed the recent arrest of Zimbabwean daily newspaper journalist Kenneth Nyangani, adding that this was “a deliberate tactic to harass and intimidate him and other journalists in order to deter them from doing their work”.

This follows reports that the police in the southern African country have arrested the journalist after he reported that a ruling Zanu-PF MP distributed used underwear to supporters on behalf of First Lady Grace Mugabe in the eastern city of Mutare on Monday.

In a statement on Tuesday, Cousin Zilala, Executive Director of Amnesty International Zimbabwe, demanded Nyangani’s “immediate and unconditionally release and all charges against him dropped”.

He added:  “Zimbabwean journalists should not be criminalised simply for doing their work.”

Confirming the arrest, Lawyer Passmore Nyakureba said that his client was in “custody at Mutare Central Police Station". 

He said his client was facing a charge of criminal defamation, although it wasn't clear whether the complainant was the MP or the First Lady. He said the reporter hadn't yet been given the opportunity to respond to the charge.

Zimbabwe banned the importation of second hand clothes and shoes in 2015 to help protect local textile and shoe companies, but the ban was later relaxed.

There have been numerous reports in recent months that second hand clothes and shoes seized by revenue officials at borders, or from street vendors by municipal police, have been redistributed to ruling party supporters at rallies.






Read more on:    amnesty international  |  grace mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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