Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Zimbabwe Alert Update: Independent Journailists Arrested

MISA Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Independent editors’ Vincent Kahiya and Constantine Chimakure were on 11 May 2009 arrested and are expected to appear in court today (12 May 2009) on charges of publishing or communicating a statement wholly or with the intention of undermining public confidence in law enforcement agents, under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

Kahiya and Chimakure presented themselves at the Law and Order Section of Harare Central police station in the morning in the company of their lawyer; Innocent Chagonda after the police searched for them at the Zimbabwe Independent offices on Saturday 9 May 2009. They were interrogated for several hours and made to sign warned and cautioned statements. They were detained at around 17:00hrs and are, according to Chagonda, expected to appear in court ‘sometime today’.

The police alleged that the Central Intelligence Officials and police officers listed in the Zimbabwe Independent as being involved in the abductions of human rights and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activists amongst them freelance journalist Shadreck Andrisson Manyere last year, were in actual fact summoned as witnesses by the State .


The story titled, CIO, police role in activists’ abduction revealed, states that notices of indictment for trial in the High Court which begins 29 June 2009, served on some of the activists last week revealed that the activists were either in the custody of the CIO or police during the period they were reported missing.

Amongst those named are CIO Assistant Director External, retired brigadier Asher Walter Tapfumaneyi, Police Superintendents, Reggies Chikwete and Joel Tendere, Detective Inspectors, Elliot Muchada and Joshua Muzangano, CID Homicide Officer Commanding, Crispen Kadenge, Chief Superintendent Peter Magwenzi and Senior Assistant Commissioner, Simon Nyathi.

Kahiya and Chimakure’s arrest follows on the heels of defamation charges levelled against provincial State- controlled daily The Chronicle editor, Brezhnev Malaba and reporter, Nduduzo Tshuma over an article exposing alleged police involvement in maize scandal at the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), published in the paper in February.

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