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After Reporter Freed on Bail, Zimbabwe Police Arrest Newspaper Editor

  • Tatenda Gumbo

The report, disputed by police, said competitive examinations scheduled for November were canceled to accommodate the recruitment of war veterans and retired police officers in anticipation of 2011 elections

Police in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare on Tuesday arrested Standard newspaper editor Nevanji Madanhire in connection with a story the weekly published two weeks ago saying that the Zimbabwe Republic Police was re-hiring retired officers and liberation war veterans to bolster its ranks ahead of possible new elections in 2011.

Madanhire was arrested after presenting himself to the Harare Central Police station in the company of his lawyer, Chris Mhike. He was charged with publishing statements that are prejudicial to the state, and was to be held overnight, sources said.

Standard journalist Nqobani Ndlovu was arrested November 11 in Bulawayo for writing the article and spent 10 days behind bars in the notorious Khami Remand Prison.

The report, which the police have characterized as a fabrication, said competitive police examinations scheduled for November had been canceled to accommodate the recruitment of the war veterans and retired police officers in anticipation of elections.

Attorney Mhike told VOA Studio 7 reporter Tatenda Gumbo that he was disappointed by the arrest of Madanhire and expected him to be arraigned in court Wednesday.

Vice Chairman Njabulo Ncube of the Media Institute of Southern Africa in Zimbabwe said his organization is concerned at the latest crackdown on local journalists.

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