Two Zimbabwe journalists of the Sunday Mail newspaper and their editor, who were arrested early this week for allegedly publishing false news prejudicial to the state, were released on Wednesday by a court in the capital Harare, local newspapers reports said.
The trio has been granted bail of US$100 each by Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe, and told not to move out of their given physical addresses and report to police every Friday and not to try to interfere with witnesses or investigations.
Editor Mabasa Sasa, investigative journalist Brian Chitembo and reporter Tinashe Farawo were arrested following the publication of a story alleging that a top police officer had been fingered as part of a gang that was poaching elephants in Hwange National Park.
The prosecution told the court that the trio should be denied because they have caused enormous damage to the country’s police force. However, the magistrate said it would be a mockery of the justice system to deny them bail.
Rights group Amnesty International and the Zimbabwe National Editors Forum have condemned the journalists’ arrests.
Photo: Zimbabwe’s released journalists smile as they leave a Harare court. credit: The Herald.