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Editor pleads not guilty to charges of practicing journalism without a licence

(MISA/IFEX) - The trial of Bright Chibvuri, the editor of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) magazine, "The Worker", which was scheduled to continue in the southwestern border town of Plumtree on 5 November 2007, was postponed indefinitely due to the ongoing strike by some of the country's magistrates.

Magistrates in Harare and Bulawayo embarked on the strike action during the week of 5 November over poor salaries and working conditions. It appears that the strike has now spread to other smaller towns such as Plumtree.

Chibvuri has pleaded not guilty to contravening Section 83 (1) of the repressive Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) as read with Section 83 (3), which deals with practising journalism without accreditation.

His trial opened in Plumtree on 26 September, only to be adjourned to 5 November because the trial magistrate Mark Dzira was not feeling well.

BACKGROUND:
Chibvuri, who was arrested in Plumtree on 3 March during a ZCTU seminar, spent two nights in police custody and was only released on 5 March when he appeared before a Plumtree magistrate on charges of contravening Section 83 of AIPPA, which penalises the practice of journalism without accreditation.

At the time of his arrest, Chibvuri had already applied for accreditation but had not received a response from the MIC. He has since been duly accredited.

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