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Harassment of journalists continues

Police picked up and questioned more journalists from the independent media. On August 21, they questioned two journalists from the Mirror, Wallace Chuma and Constantine Chimakure over a story that police assisted looters in Chinhoyi.

On August 22, they picked up Mark Chavunduka, editor of the Standard over a story that this paper picked up from the London Sunday Times which said President Mugabe was haunted by the ghost of the late Josiah Tongogara.

 

Full cable:

Viewing cable 01HARARE2490, HARASSMENT OF JOURNALISTS CONTINUES – THREE NEW

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE2490

2001-08-23 09:07

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

 

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED     PTO6427

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 02490 230915Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   ACQ-00   CIAE-00 DODE-00 DS-00   UTED-00

VC-00   TEDE-00 INR-00   VCE-00   NSAE-00 TEST-00 USIE-00

DSCC-00 DRL-02   NFAT-00 SAS-00     /002W

——————1578DD 230915Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9532

INFO NSC WASHDC

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

UNCLAS HARARE 002490

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/PD (SANDERS, ROBERTSON, COX), AF/S (DELISI,

KRAFT), AF (BELLAMY) AF/P, INR/R/MR

 

NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: KPAO PREL PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: HARASSMENT OF JOURNALISTS CONTINUES – THREE NEW

ARRESTS

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 02490 230915Z

 

1.   ON AUGUST 21 AND 22 ZIMBABWE REPUBLIC POLICE (ZRP)

PICKED UP, QUESTIONED AND LAID CHARGES AGAINST THREE

JOURNALISTS IN HARARE.

 

2.   ON AUGUST 21, TWO JOURNALISTS FROM THE WEEKLY “THE

MIRROR” WERE QUESTIONED BY POLICE ABOUT A REPORT IN THE

AUGUST 17 EDITION OF THEIR NEWSPAPER ALLEGING POLICE

COMPLICITY IN LOOTING IN THE CHINOHYI AREA. NEWS EDITOR

WALLACE CHUMA AND REPORTER CONSTANTINE CHIMAKURE WERE THEN

CHARGED WITH “PUBLISHING SUBVERSIVE STATEMENTS,” EMPLOYING

THE SAME RHODESIA-ERA LAW USED AGAINST THE FOUR “DAILY

NEWS” JOURNALISTS ON AUGUST 14. POLICE MISTREATED NEITHER

JOURNALIST.

 

3.   ON AUGUST 22 POLICE DETAINED MARK CHAVUNDUKA, EDITOR

OF THE INDEPENDENT WEEKLY “THE STANDARD,” ON CHARGES OF

“CRIMINAL DEFAMATION” OVER A STORY HIS PAPER PUBLISHED ON

AUGUST 19. CHAVUNDUKA WAS HELD AND QUESTIONED FOR ABOUT 90

MINUTES. HE WAS NOT MISTREATED. CHAVUNDUKA AND “STANDARD”

SENIOR REPORTER RAY CHOTO WERE ARRESTED AND TORTURED IN

JANUARY 1999 AFTER THEY PUBLISHED A STORY ALLEGING A MUTINY

AMONG ZIMBABWEAN ARMED FORCES IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF

THE CONGO.

 

4.   THE STORY THAT PROMPTED THE AUGUST 22 CHARGES AGAINST

CHAVUNDUKA, REPRINTED FROM THE “SUNDAY TIMES” OF LONDON,

REPORTED THAT PRESIDENT MUGABE IS HAUNTED BY THE GHOST OF

THE LATE NATIONAL LIBERATION WAR HERO JOSIAH TONGOGARA.

UNCLASSIFIED

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 02490 230915Z

ACCORDING TO CHAVUNDUKA, HE WAS CHARGED BECAUSE THE STORY

DEFAMED PRESIDENT MUGABE AND HIS FAMILY.

 

ROTH

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

>

 

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