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Global body demands the immediate release of Zenzele Ndebele

by Mandla Ndlovu
22 Mar 2019 at 08:26hrs | Views
The African desk of the Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ) has issued a statement demanding that the Zimbabwean authorities must release journalist Zenzele Ndebele who was arrested on Thursday.

Ndebele is being charged with "possession of offensive weapons at public gatherings," under Section 43 of Zimbabwe's Criminal Law Code, after police found him in possession of a used tear gas canister.

"We urge Zimbabwean authorities to release Zenzele Ndebele immediately and to drop the ridiculous charge against him," said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal. "His arrest smacks of retaliation for his past work, and makes a mockery of the very idea of dialogue between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and civil society."

Ndebele is being represented by lawyers  Nqobani Sithole and Lewis Maunze. He spent a night in custody and is set to appear in court on Friday morning.

If found guilty, Ndebele could face up to five years in prison or a fine of US$2,000.

In 2013 police raided Radio Dialogue which Ndebele was Editor of and he was arrested over charges of possessing 180 portable radios, the charges which were later dropped.

Ndebele has been very active in investigating cases relating to the Gukurahundi genocide and marginalization of Matabeleland.

Source - Byo24News