Bulawayo Magistrate John Masimba referred the matter to 21 July 2009 after officer commanding Matebeleland North, Senior Assistant Commissioner Edmore Veterai failed to turn up in court. The twos lawyer, Job Sibanda of Sibanda and Associates who said he was told that the Assistant Commissioner failed to attend the court proceedings because he in Namibia attending a conference.
The two are jointly charged with the Zimpapers Bulawayo branch General Manager, Sithembile Ncube court over a story that was published in their paper in February alleging that the police were involved in a major maize scandal at the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).
On 7April, 2009 Malaba and Tshuma appeared before Magistrate John Masimba arguing that the State did not have enough evidence to prove that they had a case to answer, and therefore there was no basis to put them on further remand. They further argued that the published story was about corruption at the GMB and did not in any way involve the police.
In his judgment, the Magistrate remanded the two out of custody to 19 May 2009 for trial and stated that the application was based on whether there was any reasonable suspicion that an offence was committed.
Malaba and Tshuma become the first state journalists to be charged under any of the repressive media laws of Zimbabwe – MISA