JAILED JOURNO FREED ON BAIL



Patrick Chitongo, the Chiredzi-based journalist who was recently jailed for a year for publishing a newspaper without a licence was on Thursday granted bail despite the state opposing it.

The bail was granted following the intervention of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and media rights groups.

Said ZLHR in a statement: “We are glad to advise that detained freelance journalist Patrick Chitongo has been freed on $200 bail after his lawyer Martin Mureri of Matutu Mureri Legal Practitioners, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, applied for bail pending appeal of both conviction and sentence."

Chiredzi magistrate, Tafadzwa Mhlanga convicted Chitongo on June 23 to 12 in jail for publishing and printing the Southern Mirror without a licence from the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC).

Mhlanga presided over the bail hearing.

Chitongo’s lawyer argued that the magistrate erred in convicting his client since the scribe had not published a newspaper but a mere dummy so as to apply to ZMC.

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