Detectives today besieged The Standard newspaper’s offices brandishing a search warrant, claiming they were looking for documents reportedly stolen from Green Card Medical Aid Society, owned by Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono’s advisor Munyaradzi Kereke.
The latest onslaught on press freedom comes after Standard reporter, Nqaba Matshazi wrote an article on the possibility of the medical aid society’s imminent collapse, amid reports from sources that the society’s expenditure outstripped its income.
The detectives searched desks of deputy editor Walter Marwizi, proof reader Chipo Masara and reporters Nqaba Matshazi and Kudzai Chimhangwa.
They then went for editor Nevanji Madanhire’s office and again searched his desk.
However all they got was Kereke’s response to the allegations.
“From information on oath, that there are reasonable grounds for believing that there is in the possession or under the control of Nqaba Matshazi and Nevanji Madanhire, certain articles belonging to Green Card Medical Aid Society,” reads the search warrant issued from a Harare magistrate on November 10.
The detectives were searching for claims reports, financial statements and the medical aid society’s membership reports.
In June, the police arrested Madanhire and reporter Patience Nyangove after the paper reported that MDC-T feared for the life of Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jameson Timba after he was seized by detectives from his office.
Timba was denied access to lawyers and family until the High Court ordered that his detention was illegal.
Police also took offence after the paper described a senior detective as notorious.