Posted by: africanpressorganization | 9 April 2010

Zimbabwe / Arrests and harassment of journalists continues





Zimbabwe / Arrests and harassment of journalists continues



HARARE, Zimbabwe, April 9, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Mashundu Netsianda a correspondent with a regional daily publication The Chronicle who is based in Beitbridge was on 8 April 2010 arrested in the southern border town over a story involving a shooting incident.


The story detailed the shooting incident involving a Zimbabwean man who resides in South Africa.


The man is said to have shot at the police when he was being searched on suspicion of carrying an unlicensed firearm in his bag. The police questioned Netsianda over the “offending” article in question and asked him about the sources of the story. He was told that he should not have published the information without an official comment from the police.


Netsianda was reportedly sternly warned before being released two hours later without being charged. 




There has been a surge in cases of harassment against journalists beginning this year resulted in the fleeing into exile of freelance journalists Stanley Kwenda in January 2010. Feluna Nleya and Jennifer Dube reporters with the privately owned Standard weekly were on 31 April 2010 questioned by police from the Law and Order Section  for exposing an alleged massive land scandal involving the Minister of Local Government Ignatius Chombo and businessperson Philip Chiyangwa.


Nevanji Madanhire the editor of The Standard and Vincent Kahiya, group editor-in-chief of Zimind Publishers which published the weekly were similarly questioned over the same story.


None of the journalists were formerly charged. These cases constitute wanton harassment of journalists which poses serious threats to freedom of the press and freedom of expression notwithstanding the citizens’ right to access to information.



Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)


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