Arrested Zimbabwean journalist released, share tales

Jeffrey Moyo, 37, a New York Times (NYT) freelance reporter from Zimbabwe, was granted bail on Tuesday. 

He was arrested three weeks ago on suspicion of assisting two foreign colleagues in illegally entering the country. 

Moyo, who was arrested on May 26, was suspected of supplying fraudulent media accreditation cards in order to let New York Times reporters Christina Goldbaum and Joao Silva, who were stationed in South Africa, get into Zimbabwe for a week-long assignment.

The 37-year-old was granted bail of ZW$5,000 ($59) and was released. However, due to technical issues by court officials, he was not released as scheduled, according to his lawyers.

The impact of the journalist’s arrest on his family was equally severe.

“Some of the people who used to see my wife, especially the guards, they would come and tell me, ‘your wife is stressed. It seems she has been crying.’ And I’m sure it really drained her emotionally”, he added.

Amanda Sihle Ndlovu, the journalist’s lawyer, expressed her joy at the news of her client’s release on bond.

“I’m very happy this morning to confirm and announce that Jeffrey Moyo has been released from custody after having been granted bail by the High Court of Bulawayo after successfully appealing against a decision by the magistrate at Tredgold”, Ndlovu said.

The judgment came after he filed an appeal against a magistrate’s decision to deny him bail last week. 

The arrest of Moyo prompted the New York Times to express its “great concern” at the time.

“Jeffrey is a widely respected journalist with many years of reporting experience in Zimbabwe and his detainment raises troubling questions about the state of press freedom in Zimbabwe,” it had added in a statement.

Educator, writer and legal researcher at Alafarika for Studies and Consultancy.

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