Jeffrey Moyo

Jeffrey Moyo is an award-winning Zimbabwean freelance journalist. Moyo is a New York Times freelancer who has also worked for other international media outlets, including The Globe and Mail.

On 26 May 2021, Moyo was arrested and charged with violating Section 36 of the Immigration Act for allegedly presenting false information to immigration officials to help two New York Times journalists enter Zimbabwe.

Background

Jeffrey Moyo is married and has a son.

Career

Moyo writes contributions for D+C Development and Cooperation. He is a New York Times freelancer who has also worked for other international media outlets, including The Globe and Mail.

He also writes for the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Jeffrey Moyo has written for the International Press Syndicate (INPS-IDN), Anadolu Agency, a Turkish news agency, Bistandsaktuelt, a Norway humanitarian news magazine, and Radio France International’s English desk.[1][2][3]

Arrest

On May 26 2021, Moyo was arrested in Harare and then transferred to Bulawayo. Moyo was charged with violating Section 36 of the Immigration Act for allegedly presenting false information to immigration officials to help two New York Times journalists enter Zimbabwe.

The two colleagues – Christina Goldbaum and Joao Silva – who arrived in Bulawayo from South Africa on May 5, 2021, were deported on May 8, 2021, because they allegedly did not have the proper accreditation from the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC).

Moyo was arrested along with a ZMC official Thabang Manhika because immigration officials said the accreditation cards were fake. In a statement on Facebook, the ZMC said that the two New York Times reporters had applied for clearance to work in Zimbabwe but their application was denied. ZMC said:

“However the two had proceeded to come to the country anyway. The accreditation card numbers and receipts representing proof of payment for accreditation they produced were clear forgeries.”

[4]

While in prison, The New York Times ran a long story on the matter, stating that he was being held in harsh conditions.[5]

Jeffrey Moyo was finally released on 16 June 2021 after a hiccup that kept him in jail a day longer as it emerged that prosecutors did not oppose his High Court bail appeal after admitting the State had a weak case.

Moyo was supposed to be released on 15 June 2021 after a High Court judge granted him Z$5,000 bail on Monday 14 June 2021, but officers at the Bulawayo Central Prison denied him freedom arguing there was an error in his warrant of release.

Moyo complained about the conditions at the facility he was detained and his wife being denied visitation, telling VOA Studio 7 that “the prison is an old facility that was built long ago in 1897, it’s 124 years old. There can’t be anything positive about that. My wife and family were denied access to me, they never saw me. I m not happy about that.”[6]

Bail

On 31 May 2021, Moyo's application for bail was denied.[7]

Awards

Jeffrey Moyo won a journalism award for being Zimbabwe’s 2015 best Agricultural reporter, winning another award in 2016 under the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) for being the best HIV/AIDS reporter. He won another award as Zimbabwe’s 2019 best WASH & Climate Change Journalist.[3]

References

  1. Hans Dembowski, Our colleague Jeffrey Moyo has been arrested in Harare, D+C Development and Cooperation, Published: May 31, 2021, Retrieved: June 1, 2021
  2. Jeffrey Moyo, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: June 1, 2021
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jeffrey Moyo, Ubuntu Times, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: June 1, 2021
  4. Press freedom watchdog calls for release of Zimbabwean journalist, Al Jazeera, Published: May 29, 2021, Retrieved: June 1, 2021
  5. Zimbabwe Authorities Arrest Local Reporter Working for The New York Times, The New York Times, Published: May 28, 2021, Retrieved: June 1, 2021
  6. MARSHALL BWANYA, New York Times’ Jeffrey Moyo freed as prosecution admits case on ‘shaky ground’, ZimLive, Published: June 17, 2021, Retrieved: June 17, 2021
  7. Zim Media Review, Twitter, Published: May 31, 2021, Retrieved: June 1, 2021