Zimbabwean police arrest journalist

Harare – Zimbabwe authorities reportedly arrested a journalist over a story alleging that police were recruiting war veterans to take over senior posts ahead of next year’s elections.

Nqobani Ndlovu was arrested yesterday when he handed himself to police after detectives called his Bulawayo-based newspaper, the independent The Standard, several times, NewsDay reported online.

He would be charged with publishing a defamatory statement against the police, the paper said.

His lawyer, Josphat Tshuma, confirmed that the journalist was detained. “Ndlovu was asked to reveal his sources, of which he said it was unethical for him as a journalist to disclose his sources,” Tshuma was quoted as saying.

Ndlovu’s arrest comes just over a week after police issued a warrant of arrest for the exiled editor of an independent weekly newspaper for publishing a story about the death of a senior election official two years ago.

The warrant has been issued for Wilf Mbanga, owner and editor of The Zimbabwean newspaper.

President Robert Mugabe signalled in October that presidential elections could be held next year.

The media in Zimbabwe have been operating under stringent rules over the past decade, with several newspapers forced to shut down and journalists harassed by the police.

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