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Zimbabwe High Court Judge Orders Release of Incarcerated Newspaper Journalist

Zimbabwe Union of Journalists chairman Dumisani Sibanda told VOA that newsmen in Bulawayo will press ahead with a scheduled march on Monday despite Ndlovu's release

A Zimbabwean High Court judge dismissed an appeal Thursday by the State against granting of bail to Standard newspaper reporter Nqobani Ndlovu and ordered his immediate release.

Ndlovu was granted bail by a magistrate earlier this week but prosecutors invoked Section 121 of the widely-condemned Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, giving them power to further detain him while preparing to challenge the magistrate’s ruling.

But judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi threw out the appeal Thursday saying it had no merit.

Ndlovu, who was arrested last Wednesday and charged with criminal defamation against the Zimbabwe Republic Police, will however, be released on Friday after necessary paperwork for his bail has been finalized.

Chairman Dumisani Sibanda of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists said his union was happy with judge Mathonsi’s ruling.

Sibanda told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that journalists in Bulawayo will stage a protest on Monday over the ongoing clampdown of journalists critical of government.