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Tough Questions For Zimbabwe Police Get Agency Reporter Fired

The state-controlled New Zimbabwe Inter-Africa News Agency, or New Ziana, fired a reporter-intern Monday saying that he had disgraced the agency by asking police officers questions about the March 11 shooting death of an opposition activist.

The reporter, Tapiwa Chininga, arrested late last week by officers at the police station in the Harare district of Kuwadzana after he asked officers on duty there whether they felt guilty for the death of Gift Tandare, shot in a protest in Highfield, Harare.

He also asked a duty officer why the police were biased against the opposition.

Chininga spent three days in custody before being arraigned on Saturday, when he was finally arraigned and released on Z$5,0000 (US$0.20) bail.

When he reported back to work at New Ziana, Chininga said, editor in chief Rangarirai Shoko told him that he was no longer welcome at the official news agency.

Repeated attempts to contact Shoko for comment were unsuccessful.

Chininga told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that his firing shows that the government wants to silence voices speaking for the downtrodden.

More reports from VOA's Studio for Zimbabwe...