US embassy cable - 01HARARE2439

CHANGE IN CHARGES AGAINST DAILY NEWS JOURNALISTS

Identifier: 01HARARE2439
Wikileaks: View 01HARARE2439 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2001-08-17 09:09:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: KPAO PREL ZI PHUM
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

170909Z Aug 01

 

                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTO4248

PAGE 01        HARARE  02439  170912Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    ACQ-00   CIAE-00  DODE-00  DS-00    UTED-00  
      VC-00    TEDE-00  INR-00   VCE-00   NSAE-00  NSCE-00  SSO-00   
      SS-00    TEST-00  USIE-00  DSCC-00  DRL-02   NFAT-00  SAS-00   
        /002W
                  ------------------13518B  170913Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9489
INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
UNCLAS HARARE 002439 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR AF/S (KRAFT), AF (BELLAMY), AF/PD (SANDERS, 
ROBERTSON, COX) 
 
NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER 
 
LONDON FOR GURNEY 
 
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS 
 
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KPAO, PREL, ZI, PHUM 
SUBJECT: CHANGE IN CHARGES AGAINST DAILY NEWS JOURNALISTS 
 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  02439  170912Z 
1.   THE CHARGES AGAINST THE FOUR JOURNALISTS FROM THE 
    INDEPENDENT "DAILY NEWS" WERE CHANGED LATE ON AUGUST 16. 
    THE FOUR JOURNALISTS (EDITOR GEOFF NYAROTA, DEPUTY EDITOR 
    BILL SAIDI, NEWS EDITOR JOHN GAMBANGA AND REPORTER SAM 
    MUNYAVI) ARE NOW CHARGED WITH "DISTRIBUTION OR CIRCULATION 
    OF A SUBVERSIVE STATEMENT," A VIOLATION OF SECTION 44 
    (2)(B) OF THE LAW AND ORDER MAINTENANCE ACT (LOMA). 
 
2.   THE FOUR WERE ORIGINALLY CHARGED WITH PUBLISHING A 
    REPORT THAT COULD CAUSE "FEAR, ALARM OR DESPONDENCY AMONG 
    THE PUBLIC," A VIOLATION OF SECTION 50 (2)(A) OF THE LOMA. 
    THAT CHARGED WAS DROPPED WHEN POLICE REALIZED THAT THE 
    ZIMBABWEAN SUPREME COURT HAD DECLARED SECTION 50 
    UNCONSTITUTIONAL IN 2000.  THE FOUR WERE THEN CHARGED WITH 
    CRIMINAL DEFAMATION OF THE ZIMBABWE REPUBLIC POLICE.  THAT 
    CHARGE WAS DROPPED WHEN THE JOURNALISTS' LAWYER MADE THE 
    CASE THAT ONLY INDIVIDUALS, NOT INSTITUTIONS, CAN LEGALLY 
    BE DEFAMED. 
 
3.   THE FOUR JOURNALISTS REMAIN FREE ON PERSONAL 
    RECOGNIZANCE.  NO COURT DATE HAS BEEN SET. 
 
WHITEHEAD 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
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