News Brief

Zim Journalist in Jail for Reporting on Grace Mugabe Used Underwear Racket

A story about Grace Mugabe distributing used underwear to her supporters has landed a Zimbabwean journalist in jail.

Zimbabwean journalists are no strangers to censorship and harassment at the hands of the government.


Today, however, there's a new twist—Kenneth Nyangani, a reporter for the independently run Zimbabwean newspaper NewsDay has been arrested and detained over his reporting on a story about first lady Grace Mugabe donating used underwear to Zanu PF supporters.

The report quotes the Zanu PF MP Esau Mupfumi, who claims he was given the used panties at the state house to be distributed to pro-Mugabe partisans in his constituency. It's currently unclear, according to Newsday, whether the complaint comes from Mupfumi of Mugabe herself.

According to his lawyer, Passmore Nyakureba of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), Nyangani is being charged for the criminal defamation under the Criminal (Codification and Reform) Act.Nyakureba said: “The brief facts are that Kenneth was picked up last night around 10pm at his home in Dangamvura and I attended to him around 11:30pm at Mutare Central where he was subsequently detained.

"The intention is to send a chilling message to journalists and media workers that they must self-censor rather than expose truths," Cousin Zilala, executive director of Amnesty's Zimbabwe branch told the AP.

Meanwhile, President Robert Mugabe has arrived in South Africa without his wife to attend talks with President Jacob Zuma. Grace Mugabe was recently the subject of a South African manhunt after she was accused of assaulting a women in her sons' Johannesburg apartment. She managed to leave the country after being granted diplomatic immunity.

Audio
Photo: Sean Thomas.

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