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Despite Legal Threat, Zimbabwe TV Broadcasts More Images Of Prelate

Zimbabwe state television Thursday resumed broadcasting video footage and photos purporting to show Roman Catholic Archbishop Ncube of Bulawayo in his bedroom with various women, stirring debate over the role of state media in the scandal.

Ncube was hit this week with a Z$20 billion dollar (US$125,000) suit by a Bulawayo man who charged the prelate had been sexually involved with his wife since 2006.

Sources said Zimbabwe state television management had instructed news executives to stop broadcasting the images, this following a demand from Ncube's lawyer saying the images were "defamatory." But Thursday evening the main news bulletin again showed video footage. However, the state-controlled Herald and Bulawayo Chronicle newspapers appeared to have taken heed of the defense lawyer's demand.

Lawyer Nicholas Mathonsi said Wednesday that he wrote to state media managers demanding that the stop showing or printing “unauthenticated and inappropriate” images, threatening legal action against them if they persisted.

Advocacy officer Abel Chikomo of the Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that broadcasting or publishing such images represented a serious breach of journalistic ethics.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...