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Cablegate: Harassment of Journalists Continues - Three New

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLASSIFIED PTO6427

PAGE 01 HARARE 02490 230915Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 DS-00 UTED-00
VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 VCE-00 NSAE-00 TEST-00 USIE-00
DSCC-00 DRL-02 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /002W
------------------1578DD 230915Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9532
INFO NSC WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

UNCLAS HARARE 002490

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/PD (SANDERS, ROBERTSON, COX), AF/S (DELISI,
KRAFT), AF (BELLAMY) AF/P, INR/R/MR

NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO PREL PHUM ZI
SUBJECT: HARASSMENT OF JOURNALISTS CONTINUES - THREE NEW
ARRESTS
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HARARE 02490 230915Z

1. ON AUGUST 21 AND 22 ZIMBABWE REPUBLIC POLICE (ZRP)
PICKED UP, QUESTIONED AND LAID CHARGES AGAINST THREE
JOURNALISTS IN HARARE.

2. ON AUGUST 21, TWO JOURNALISTS FROM THE WEEKLY "THE
MIRROR" WERE QUESTIONED BY POLICE ABOUT A REPORT IN THE
AUGUST 17 EDITION OF THEIR NEWSPAPER ALLEGING POLICE
COMPLICITY IN LOOTING IN THE CHINOHYI AREA. NEWS EDITOR
WALLACE CHUMA AND REPORTER CONSTANTINE CHIMAKURE WERE THEN
CHARGED WITH "PUBLISHING SUBVERSIVE STATEMENTS," EMPLOYING
THE SAME RHODESIA-ERA LAW USED AGAINST THE FOUR "DAILY
NEWS" JOURNALISTS ON AUGUST 14. POLICE MISTREATED NEITHER
JOURNALIST.

3. ON AUGUST 22 POLICE DETAINED MARK CHAVUNDUKA, EDITOR
OF THE INDEPENDENT WEEKLY "THE STANDARD," ON CHARGES OF
"CRIMINAL DEFAMATION" OVER A STORY HIS PAPER PUBLISHED ON
AUGUST 19. CHAVUNDUKA WAS HELD AND QUESTIONED FOR ABOUT 90
MINUTES. HE WAS NOT MISTREATED. CHAVUNDUKA AND "STANDARD"
SENIOR REPORTER RAY CHOTO WERE ARRESTED AND TORTURED IN
JANUARY 1999 AFTER THEY PUBLISHED A STORY ALLEGING A MUTINY
AMONG ZIMBABWEAN ARMED FORCES IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF
THE CONGO.

4. THE STORY THAT PROMPTED THE AUGUST 22 CHARGES AGAINST
CHAVUNDUKA, REPRINTED FROM THE "SUNDAY TIMES" OF LONDON,
REPORTED THAT PRESIDENT MUGABE IS HAUNTED BY THE GHOST OF
THE LATE NATIONAL LIBERATION WAR HERO JOSIAH TONGOGARA.
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 02490 230915Z
ACCORDING TO CHAVUNDUKA, HE WAS CHARGED BECAUSE THE STORY
DEFAMED PRESIDENT MUGABE AND HIS FAMILY.

ROTH

UNCLASSIFIED

>

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