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Journalist arrested over expired Press card





Freelance journalist and Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) vice-president Godfrey Mtimba was arrested yesterday for allegedly taking pictures of stranded commuters who were demonstrating at a Zupco pick-up point in Masvingo. Police claim he was also using an expired Press card.

Mtimba faces yet another charge of insulting and undermining the authority of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

His lawyer, Philip Tanaka Shumba of Shumba and Mutendi law firm confirmed the arrest, saying his client had been released into his custody and was
awaiting a court date.

"It is true that Mtimba has been arrested for taking pictures of demonstrators over the weekend and using an expired Press card. We went to the police and they released him under my custody pending a court appearance after investigations are complete. He denies the charges," Shumba said.

"My client has been charged for allegedly breaking section 33 paragraph 2(a) of the criminal code."

Later in the day, Shumba told NewsDay more charges were added to include "addressing passengers waiting for Zupco, telling them that they are suffering because of eD (Mnangagwa) and his sons who are looting the economy". Shumba said a warned and cautioned statement was recorded from Mtimba and he would appear in court this
week.

Contacted for comment, Masvingo provincial police spokesperson chief Inspector charity Mazula said: "From what I was briefed, the police officers just wanted to interview him on a certain case which happened. I am not aware they went on to arrest him. I will have to find out what later happened."

Mtimba joins a long list of journalists arrested on duty for simply doing their work under the current cOVID-19 lockdown.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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