Globecast Satellite Acquitted

There was a dramatic end to the Globecast Satellite trial on 24 July 2008
when Harare Magistrate Archie Wochiunga refused to place the company on
further remand after the state had applied for a postponement of the matter.

Prosecutor Florence Ziyambi had applied to have the matter postponed arguing

that her witness had failed to turn up because of transport problems.

However, defence lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, opposed the application saying the

state had the obligation to bring its witnesses on time. Mtetwa said the

trial had proceeded painfully slowly as the prosecutor had chosen which

witnesses to call and when. She said the court could not be held at ransom

by a disorganised prosecution and urged the court to dismiss the


Magistrate Wochiunga dismissed the application for postponement and decided

to remove the accused company from remand. The effect of a removal from

remand of an accused who would have pleaded amounts to an acquittal of the


Globecast Satellite whose representative during the trial was Thabani Mpofu,

pleaded not guilty to charges of contravening Section 7 (1) as read with

Section 7 (4) and 7 (5) of Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) which outlaws the

provision of broadcasting services or operating a signal carrier without a


Mtetwa is currently working on an application for the release of the vehicle

belonging to Globecast.

MISA-Zimbabwe Position

MISA-Zimbabwe welcomes the acquittal of the company and reiterates its

position that the Broadcasting Services Act is unnecessarily repressive. It

is hoped that the current talks between Zimbabwe’s political leaders will

deal decisively with laws such as the BSA, Access to Information and

Protection of Privacy Act as well as the Public Order and Security Act with

the view of repealing them.


The case against Globecast stemmed from the broadcast of an interview by CNN

of Zimbabwe’s Minister of Information and Publicity Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu on

27 March 2008. The uplink for the interview was dispatched by Globecast


The court heard evidence from six witnesses, among them, Cloud Nyamundanda

who is the acting Chief Executive Officer of Transmedia Corporation and

Obert Muganyura, the Chief Executive Officer of the Broadcasting Authority

of Zimbabwe.


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