21 June 2014

Zimbabwe: Sunday Mail Editor's Charges Laid Out

Photo: The Herald
Sunday Mail editor, Edmund Kudzayi.

Sunday Mail Editor Edmund Kudzayi, who was arrested on Thursday, is expected to appear in court today facing charges of undermining the authority of President Mugabe and subverting or attempting to subvert a constitutionally-elected Government.

Kudzayi's lawyer, Mr Joseph Mandizha of Mandizha and Company, yesterday said Kudzayi would also face another charge of keeping ammunition in an unsecure place.

It is an offence under the Firearms Act to keep live bullets at an unsecure place.

"I can confirm that we are going to court tomorrow," said Mr Mandizha without giving further details of the case.

Speaking about Kudzayi's arrest in Bulawayo yesterday, Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo said the decision to resolve any charges levelled against Kudzayi through the legal route was at the heart of a constitutional democracy.

Prof Moyo, who was addressing a Business Environment Studies College's mass communication graduation ceremony, said a criminal trial was far better than a political trial.

"It's very good to know people have an opportunity to resolve an issue through the legal process in terms of our law, in terms of our Constitution," he said.

"That's always far better than seeking to resolve an issue through other means. That is the essence of constitutional democracy, that a matter, however important, is ultimately resolved in terms of the law.

"I think all rational, fair minded people would say or understand that when police take action or when law enforcement agents take action, it should be to give us, from a legal, constitutional view, some relief that at least the rule of law or the course of justice is taking place.

"It's much easier for everyone concerned, especially when you take into account that there's no individual and indeed no institution that is above the law."

Kudzayi recently replaced Brezhnev Malaba as head at the nation's biggest weekly newspaper.

But Prof Moyo said resolving issues through legal channels was at the heart of a constitutional democracy.

He commended the Zimbabwe Newspapers Group's stance on the matter, after the company offered to cooperate fully with investigators.

"I'm very pleased that Zimpapers has made it very clear they're a law abiding institution, and that they're going to fully cooperate with the law enforcement authorities in terms of the law," said Prof Moyo.

"And I, therefore, don't want anyone asking anything else and if you do, you'll have a monologue because I would not participate in the dialogue."

Kudzayi was arrested on Thursday after a police launched a pre-dawn raid at his home and office at Herald House, with the police saying the arrest had to do "with publications that he did".

On the same day, police also visited The Zimbabwe Independent offices looking for the editor of the paper Dumisani Muleya's home address

Charges relating to Muleya or his whereabouts could not be ascertained yesterday.

Copyright © 2014 The Herald. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.