Arrested Newsday Journalists Story About CIO’s Secretly Getting Bonuses Was A Dummy

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by TZN Correspondent

HARARE – Two Zimbabwean journalists who  have been arrested over a story that claimed members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) received their annual bonuses secretly, were sold a dummy, theZimbabwenewslive.com can reveal.

NewsDay Deputy Editor, Nqaba Matshazi and reporter Xolisani Ncube were being held in police custody on Thursday following their arrest and the  state  has  charged them with “Communicating or publishing false statements prejudicial to the State.” story-matshazi-001

 On Wednesday NewsDay reported that the government had last year quietly paid CIO operatives their annual bonuses, “yet postponed, several times, paying the salaries of civil servants, only releasing the payments yesterday (Tuesday), a development that is likely to spark a rebuke from other public sector workers.”
A member of staff at AMH , which owns the Newsday told this paper that the authors of the said report were misled by some members of the CIO with a view to incriminate them.
“They were warned about this report.Anyway they should be familiar with secret payments since this is what  is going on at AMH.While most staff have gone unpaid for several months, some favoured staff members are being paid on time

According to the report “the CIO received their December salaries on December 21 and their bonuses 10 days later.”

When the paper sought comment from State Security minister Kembo Mohadi, he declined to comment saying: “That is an operational issue that I cannot discuss with you.”

The journalists’ attorneys told reporters that the police diverted them when they were heading for the Harare Magistrate’s court for the hearing of their clients’ case.

“We were on way to the courts and from nowhere we were made to return to the Harare Central Police station upon which we were told that our clients will go to court Friday morning”, said  lawyers Taona Nyamakura and Mzokhuthula Mbuyiso of Mtetwa &Nyambirai Legal Practitioners and  Sifikile Thabete.

Last year the minister of Media Information and Broadcasting Services Christopher Mushowe gagged the media from reporting  on issues involving state security saying that anyone who chooses to do so should be prepared to finish “what you would have started”.

 

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