ZIMBABWE: Journalists fined under repressive law

FEBRUARY 24, 2007
Posted March 21, 2007

Peter Moyo, E.TV

Moyo, a producer of the private South Africa-based E.TV, was convicted of violating Zimbabwe’s Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and fined 4,000 Zimbabwean dollars (US$16) by a court in the eastern city of Mutare, according to the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) and local journalists. This was the second conviction under AIPPA since its enactment in 2002, according to CPJ research.

The ruling stemmed from a plea bargain entered by Moyo over charges of practicing journalism without accreditation, an offense carrying a prison sentence of up to two years, Moyo later told CPJ.

Moyo was arrested on February 5 in the eastern Manicaland province after filming illegal diamond mining and dealing activities while on vacation there, he later told CPJ. Some 20,000 people flocked to the province following diamond discovery last June, according to the Associated Press.

Police seized cameras and videotapes and detained Moyo overnight before releasing him on bail, he said. The court ordered the equipment be returned.