Two Zimbabwean journalists nabbed
Harare - An editor and a reporter from an independent Zimbabwean newspaper were arrested on Friday for criminal defamation over a story on a government minister's properties, a deputy editor said.
Daily News editor Stanley Gama was arrested at the newspaper's offices in Harare and journalist Xolisani Ncube later handed himself in, said assistant editor Guthrie Munyuki.
"They are being charged with criminal defamation on a story we wrote about Minister Ignatious Chombo. The minister said the story was defamatory," he said.
"They have been released. The State said it will proceed by the way of summons," he added.
In early November the paper published a story questioning a string of properties owned by Chombo, the minister for local government and a member of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.
The Daily News re-opened in March after being forced to shut down in 2004 as the government cracked down on independent media critical of Mugabe.
Media in Zimbabwe have operated under strict rules for the last decade, with several newspapers forced to shut down while local journalists and foreign correspondents have been deported and harassed by police.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a long-time rival of Mugabe, has vowed to abolish the country's Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which bans foreign journalists from working permanently in the country.