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.”
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”.