By MISA Zimbabwe
Mutare-based journalist Sydney Saize is objecting to confirmation of the admission of guilt fine he paid following his arrest in the eastern border town on 1 May 2021 for criminal nuisance.
Saize, who is duly accredited with the Zimbabwe Media Commission as a journalist, was arrested while covering what the police described as an unsanctioned MDC Alliance meeting.
According to his lawyer, Passmore Nyakureba, his arrest for criminal nuisance while covering the dispersal of the gathering, violated his constitutionally guaranteed right to media freedom in terms of Section 61 of the Constitution.
The lawyers are arguing that he paid the fine to avoid being “unlawfully detained” for the duration of the weekend and to avoid the risk of contracting COVID-19.
In a letter written to the clerk of court (criminal division), on 3 May 2021, and also copied to the Officer-in-Charge Mutare police, the lawyers said:
“We thus advise that our client strongly objects to the confirmation of the fine. He is available to answer to the charges if the complainant is convinced that he committed an offence and he is prepared to have his day in court. “Kindly urgently place this matter before the Provincial Magistrate”.
Saize is objecting to confirmation of the admission of guilt fine in terms of Section 356 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.