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AMH journalists sue government over unlawful arrest and detention

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By Staff Reporter

ALPHA Media Holdings (AMH) reporters Chengeto Chidi and Blessed Mhlanga are suing home affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe and police boss Godwin Matanga over unlawful arrest and detention.

Chidi and Mhlanga have filed a US$50 000 lawsuit against the State after they were arrested and detained while covering a by-election in Chitungwiza in May this year.

The two were charged with contravening section 25(a) of the Electoral Act which prohibits taking of photographs at a polling station but were both acquitted.

They were accused of using mobile phones and a canon camera to take photographs and recording a video near the ward 7 polling station tent in Zengeza West without permission from the electoral board, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

Last week the two, through their lawyers submitted an intention to sue notice in terms of the State Liabilities Act as read with section 70 of the Police Act.

“We write to give you notice of our client’s intention to sue you and various police officers employed by the State for damages arising from unlawful arrest, wrongful detention, malicious prosecution, loss of income and self-development opportunities and expenses incurred arising out of the arrest and prosecution including but not limited to medical expenses, travelling expenses, and legal expenses,” the lawyers wrote.

AMH journalist Chengeto Chidi

Police legal services director Inspector T Gotora acknowledged receipt of their notice.

“Investigations into the allegations raised therein are being instituted. The Civil Division of the Attorney-General’s office will communicate our attitude towards your notice shortly,” Gotora responded.