Zimbabwe: Journalist Granted Free Bail On Charges of Disorderly Conduct

3 April 2020

CHINHOYI Magistrate Tapiwa Banda on Friday 3 April 2020 set free freelance journalist Nunurai Jena, who had been arrested and charged with contravening some stringent regulations imposed by government and aimed at combating the spread of coronavirus.

Jena, who was represented by Kudzai Choga of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, appeared before Magistrate Banda, who granted him free bail and remanded him out of custody to 7 May 2020.

In court, the state Prosecutor Claudius Karinga told Magistrate Banda that Jena contravened section 11(a)(b) of the Public Health (COVID-19), Prevention, Containment and Treatment (National Lockdown) Order, 2020 and also engaged in disorderly conduct as defined in section 41(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act when he allegedly recorded video footage of some police officers who were manning a checkpoint set up along the Chinhoyi-Chegutu highway in Mashonaland West province on Thursday 2 April 2020.

Jena, Karinga charged, insulted some police officers who were manning the check point by accusing them of being corrupt and thus hindered and obstructed them from carrying out their duties including refusing to comply with their orders.

Karinga said Jena recorded a video footage showing some police officers checking on and educating some pedestrians and motorists about the carriage and movement of people as stipulated in regulations gazetted by government early this week to contain the spread of coronavirus and without the consent of police officers.

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