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The MDC slams arrests of Daily News reporters
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
December 03, 2011

The MDC strongly condemns the continued persecution and arrests of journalists from the private media.

This follows Friday's arrest of two Daily News journalists, Editor Stanley Gama and reporter, Xolisani Ncube. The arrests of the two journalists comes barely a year after the newspaper re-opened after it was closed seven years ago under the draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa).

These arrests come barely two weeks after the arrest of two other journalists from The Standard newspaper and we condemn them in the strongest terms.

What is more worrying is that the two latest arrests are as a result of instructions from corrupt Zanu PF officials.

The arrests on Friday on "criminal defamation" charges were from instructions from Ignatious Morgen Chiminya Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development after The Daily News published a story in which Chombo was said to have bragged about his wealth to a delegation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

As a party, the MDC's position is that it is Chombo, a former university lecturer, who should be arrested because of his corrupt activities which have seen him illegally acquiring unexplainable wealth since he became the Minister of Local Government.

Chombo has illegally acquired vast tracts of land in almost each local council. Chombo, under a cloud of corrupt land deals literally covering the whole of Zimbabwe, has also been on the war path to confuse investigations into his personal affairs through suspensions and dismissals of popularly elected local MDC councillors.

The MDC is worried by the continued arrests of journalists from the independent media with investigative journalism now being turned into a criminalised profession.

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