Zim Journalist Convicted
14 June 2022
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A Zimbabwean journalist who corresponds for The New York Times, Jeffrey Moyo has been convicted to 24 months in prison after being found guilty of contravening Section 36 of the Immigration Act by producing fake media accreditation cards for two foreign New York Times journalists, Christina Goldbaum and Joao Silva.

Moyo’s sentence was wholly suspended on condition that he pays ZWL$200 000 fine.

At a hearing in the city of Bulawayo, Magistrate Mark Nzira said that “from the evidence before the court, it is clear that the accused may have connived” to make fake press cards for the two Times journalists.

Analysts called the case part of a wider assault on press freedoms in Zimbabwe, where the economy has crumbled as promised political reforms have failed to materialize under President Emmerson Mnangagwa, after the high hopes that came with the ouster in 2017 of his predecessor, Robert Mugabe.

Reporters have been arrested and hauled before the courts on spurious charges in cases that can drag on for months or years. Some say they have been assaulted by police officers. Freedom House, a nonprofit based in Washington that measures the strength of political and civic rights around the world, downgraded Zimbabwe from “partly free” to “not free” in recent years

The legal difficulties for Mr. Moyo, 37, who has worked for The Times and a number of other news organizations, started in May 2021 when he helped two Times journalists, Christina Goldbaum and João Silva, to enter Zimbabwe on a reporting visit.