Hardley Ndazi vs Bulawayo24.com 16 May 2017

 

Hwange-based soccer Referee Hardley Ndazi filed his complaint with the MCC over a story published by Bulawayo24news on 26 April 2017 headlined, “Referee travels with visiting team”. 

 

Mr. Ndazi was unhappy  that he was reported as having travelled to officiate a match at Luveve Stadium, Bulawayo,  on the same bus with visiting Hwange Football Club  players  for a match between the former and Bantu Rovers.

Mr. Ndazi disputed these allegations, saying they were untrue and  injurious to his reputation by placing his ethical conduct in question.

 

Status: Resolved

The VMCZ contacted Bulawayo24.com on the matter. The editor Mandla Bhebhe  in his response indicated that the online site was not the originator of the claims but that its reportage of the matter was based on,  and attributed the claims to a Twitter post by “respected sports reporter Sikhumbuzo Moyo” on his social media account.  

 

The VMCZ in response acknowledged that while Bulawayo24.com had correctly attributed the claims to Moyo’s Twitter account (in his capacity as a professional sports writer for the Chronicle), the online site still had a responsibility to independently verify the claims.

The VMCZ therefore argued that the fact that the allegations were made by a “respected sports journalist on his social media” does not mean by default that such information maybe published without verification or substantiation and affording the complainant a right of reply. The VMCZ therefore argued that Bulawayo24.com’s reportage on the matter was not done in line with journalistic principles of journalistic conduct such as verification of information and seeking a right of reply from an affected subject prior to publication in line with Sections 4 and 6 of the code of conduct especially in cases which are injurious to dignity and reputation.

The editor Mr Bhebhe. acknowledged this position by the VMCZ and pulled down the story from Bulawayo24.com and facilitated the removal of the story from the search engine Google as well. The editor has also invited the referee to contact the site with his side of the story to set the record straight.