The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe has refused a bail application by a
freelance photojournalist who is facing charges of terrorism, writes
a correspondent.

Shadreck Manyere has been in prison for 4 months since his arrest in his home town of Norton in December.

His lawyers had argued that the High Court misdirected itself when it denied Manyere bail but allowed his co-accused bail.

However, Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku dismissed the bail application, saying while his co-accused had confessed to the crimes, while Manyere had been found in possession of the incriminating evidence.

Manyere first appeared before the Harare Magistrates Courts on 24 December 2008 together with Zimbabwe Peace Project director and former television anchor Jestina Mukoko after he went missing while taking his vehicle to a garage in Norton about 40km west of Harare on 13 December 2008.

Meanwhile, The Global Information Technology report of 2008-2009 has ranked Zimbabwe’s Information and Communication Technology sector as one of the worst.

Zimbabwe is ranked 132 out of 134, beating only East Timor and Chad.

The Network Readiness Index (NRI) measures the capacity of countries to exploit the opportunities offered by the ever-changing Information and Communications Technology sector.

Zimbabwe recorded very poor figures of about 2.5 fixed lines per 100 inhabitants, 6.5 mobile lines per 100 and less than 9.5 internet users per 100.

The report shows the magnitude of Zimbabwe's problems which at one time had the second fastest growing ICT sector in sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa.

A combination of bad governance, corruption and economic decline has put investors off.

In 2001, the government of Zimbabwe announced a Universal Services policy, modelled on the SADC Universal Services Guidelines.

The policy created a fund to which operators contributed 5% of their gross revenue to fund projects in areas that were underdeveloped in terms of ICT’s. But revenue collected during the period 2001-2008 has since been eroded by the country’s harsh inflation.

Zimbabwe’s Universal Services policy aimed at increasing the number of landline telephones for every 100 individuals in urban areas from 6.27% in 2003 to 10% in 2006, and from 0.43% in 2003 to 3% in 2006 for rural tele-density. It also meant to double internet access from 206
078 in 2003 to 500 000 in 2006.

According to the report of 2006-2007, Zimbabwe was ranked 117th globally, and below all SADC countries except the Democratic Republic of Congo.