A RUSSIAN journalist working for the National Geographic Channel was yesterday fined $600 by the Victoria Falls Magistrates’ Court for wearing a camouflage uniform and lying about his profession.
Daniil Nikolaev (32) was convicted on three counts by Victoria Falls resident magistrate Sharon Rosemani.
The court heard that Nikolaev was arrested at the Victoria Falls border on June 9 and charged with impersonating a soldier when he entered Zimbabwe donning camouflage clothing. Only soldiers are allowed to put on camouflage regalia in Zimbabwe.
The State said Nikolaev falsely declared that he was a geography teacher when he is a National Geographic Channel journalist.
He was searched and found in possession of a satellite phone, which is defined as a “radio station” in Zimbabwe under Chapter 12:05 of the Postal and Telecommunications Act.
Nikolaev told the court that he was not aware that it was illegal to wear camouflage regalia in Zimbabwe and that one needed a licence to possess a satellite phone.
The journalist was also found with a military jacket, one paramilitary overall, four military caps and a pair of trousers.
He was fined $600 or 18 weeks in jail. He failed to pay the fine and remains in custody.