WASHINGTON DC —
A court in Chiredzi, Masvingo province, has sentenced a freelance journalist to one year in jail, for publishing an unregistered newspaper, called Southern Mirror.
Patrick Chitongo, however, who was jointly charged with three other co-accused of not registering with the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC), will only serve an eight-month term, though his lawyers vow to appeal both the conviction and sentence.
The other three were subsequently acquitted after it was established there were students on attachment.
Chitongo’s lawyer, Martin Mureri of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights unsuccessfully argued that the published newspaper was just a dummy meant to be presented to the ZMC for purposes of registration.