Two journalists with Zimbabwe's state broadcaster, the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH),Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â have been criminally charged and
suspended without pay for filming illegal diamond mining in the eastern
province of Manicaland, writes Torby Muturikwa.
The action against ZBH Manicaland bureau chief Andrew Neshamba and cameraman William Gumbo was taken after South Africa's e.tv showed diamond trafficking by senior politicians in the ruling Zanu-PF party and top army officials in Marange district, Manicaland.
The two have been charged with abusing duty as public officers under the CriminalÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â Codification Act, and could face up to 15 years in prison.
The state alleges that Neshamba appeared as translator in video footage produced by e.tvÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Peter Moyo.
Moyo was arrested in February together with the ZBH journalists. He was convicted and fined Z$400 000 (R200) for practising journalism without accreditation from the government regulator, the Media and Information Commission.
Neshamba will appear in court in May.
Meanwhile, Alex Perry, Time Magazine South Africa correspondent, has left Zimbabwe after his conviction of practising without a licence. He had spent three nights in custody after he was arrested, and was later fined Z$100 (R5).
Cape Town-based Perry was arrested in the small town of Gwanda, Matabeleland South province where he was gathering information on a nationwide police operation to curb illegal gold mining.