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NewsDay scribe arrested

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CHINHOYI — NewsDay  Mashonaland West correspondent Nunurai Jena was arrested over the weekend for allegedly undermining police authority at a roadblock.

Report by Own Correspondent

Jena, a correspondent for NewsDay and its sister paper, The Standard, was arrested in Murombedzi, Zvimba district, on Sunday and was as of yesterday still held at Murombedzi Police Station.
He is expected to appear in court today.

Mashonaland West police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ian Kohwera was unreachable for comment yesterday as he was said to be attending a workshop in Harare.

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa-Zimbabwe Chapter) advocacy officer Tabani Moyo confirmed Jena’s arrest and said his organisation had since dispatched a lawyer to secure his release.

“We have dispatched a legal representative to Murombedzi where a journalist has been arrested over a charge I am yet to fully appreciate,” said Moyo.

According to sources, Jena allegedly clashed with traffic police officers at a roadblock over an undisclosed matter, leading to his arrest.

Meanwhile, the journalism fraternity yesterday condemned Monday’s arrest of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) editor Stanley Gama and his deputy Chris Goko, saying the incident reflected a renewed attack on media freedom.

Gama and Goko were arrested over allegations of criminal defamation after they published a report to do with the alleged disappearance of former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe employee Munyaradzi Kereke’s wife and child.

Zimbabwe National Editors’ Forum (Zinef) chairman Brian Mangwende said: “Zinef condemns the detention of Gama and his deputy Goko.

“Zinef encourages the public to seek redress through amicable means such as approaching the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ).”

Njabulo Ncube, chairperson of  Misa-Zimbabwe, said the arrests reflected a renewed attack to force journalists into self-censorship.

“It mirrors the archaic measure of criminal defamation which in Zimbabwe has always been used to try and intimidate journalists not to report on uncluttering conduct by public officials,” said Ncube.

“All these arrests are a continuation of attempts to force journalists to censor themselves and we condemn the brief arrest and detention of the two.”

VMCZ said they were concerned by the arrest of the duo.
“We view this unfortunate arrest of the two as a perpetuation of the harassment of journalists in the country, and is, therefore, undemocratic and inimical to freedom of expression,” said Loughty Dube, VMCZ programme officer.

Meanwhile, Chinhoyi acting mayor Busani Dube-Marumahoko spent another night in police cells after failing to appear in court yesterday over allegations of fraud.

He is being charged for allegedly selling a non-existent stand for $2 000.

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