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Police search for Zimbabwe Independent journalists
MISA-Zimbabwe
August 12, 2011

Police from the Law and Order section on 11 August 2011 visited Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) offices in search Zimbabwe Independent editor Constantine Chimakure and senior political reporter Wongai Zhangazha over a story the paper published in its edition of 8 July 2011.

The visit is the second in less than a week.

Detectives Murira and Makore reportedly spoke to Chief Executive Officer Raphael Khumalo over the story titled, Ministers rejected Kasukuwere plan. The detectives told Khumalo that they wanted the two to assist in investigations of who 'leaked' the details of the story as it was based on Cabinet deliberations, which is an offence under the Official Secrets Act.

The story alleged that the two MDC formations had resisted attempts by the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerments to re-introduce the National Youth Service training programme arguing it was a ZANU PF election strategy.

According to The Independent, 12-18 August, 2011, Chimakure has since stated that the story did not originate from Cabinet but from senior officials in both ZANU PF and the MDC as well as from Non-Governmental Organisations. He stated that they were aware that they could be charged under the Official Secrets Act if they were to wrote the story based on Cabinet proceedings.

Background

The search for Chimakure and Zhangazha is the fourth attack and harassment of media professionals in Zimbabwe in less than two months. It follows the arrests of journalists in Ntabazinduna, the attack of journalists while covering the public hearing on the Human Rights Bill at the Parliament of Zimbabwe and the arrest of a Kwekwe -based journalist while covering a community event.

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