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Court Set To Rule On Journalist Jeffrey Moyo’s Freedom Bid

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By Bulawayo Correspondent


BULAWAYO magistrate Rachel Mukanga is this Monday expected to rule on New York Times correspondent Jeffrey Moyo’s bail application.

Moyo was arrested on Wednesday last week for allegedly contravening the Immigration Act through assisting two New York Times journalists to fraudulently acquire media accreditation cards.

He is also accused of conniving with Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) employee, Thabang Manhika in committing the offence.

Moyo denies the charge.

Representing the state, Thompson Hove told the court that Moyo allegedly assisted the two unnamed journalists to illegally enter the country and promised them temporary press cards despite that the scribes had been denied entry by the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting Services and Publicity.

Hove told court that the state was convinced by the investigating officer, Ben Justin’s evidence that the two should not be granted bail as their case involved national security issues.

Moyo’s lawyer, Douglas Coltart argued the fact that his client was facing national security charges was not enough excuse to deny the scribe bail.

Coltart questioned the ministry’s involvement in the case, insisting that according to the Constitution of the country, ZMC had the sole right to accredit both local and foreign journalists.

The lawyer also complained about the way the two accused were treated by the police when they were arrested.

He told court the two were forced to remove their warm clothing and were detained in a cell which had too many inmates, something that exposed them to Covid-19.

He also raised issue with the deplorable conditions in the cell.

Magistrate Mukanga ordered the state to investigate the allegations and report the findings to the court before 9 June.