Two journalists arrested, charged for “false news”

MARCH 11, 2006
Posted March 21, 2006

Matongo Maumbi, Radio Chikuni
Jyde Hamoonga, Radio Chikuni


Maumbi and Hamoonga, two journalists working for Radio Chikuni, a community station in the southern district of Monze, were arrested and charged with publishing “false news with intent to cause fear and alarm to the public.” The journalists were detained overnight by police and released on bond, according to the local chapter of the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA).

The charge stemmed from a broadcast about a young boy found dead after going missing. The body was said to be mutilated, and local residents suspected that the boy was the victim of a ritual killing. Listeners called in, expressing fears that “the ritual murderers would pounce on them, too,” Maumbi told the independent daily The Post.

Family members of the boy called in to announce a meeting to discuss how to respond to the death. The Post reported that the meeting turned violent as attendees stormed the police station and hunted purported suspects.