Editor arrested three times in one week


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The editor of the Standard Bornwell Chakaodza set a new record when he was arrested three times in one week. He was arrested on 16, 22 and 23 May 2002.

The editor of the Daily News Geoff Nyarota has been arrested more times, six times in two years.

Chakaodza and his reporter Farai Mutsaka were arrested for publishing falsehoods following an article in which the Standard speculated in staff changes at the government-owned Zimpapers.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 02HARARE1258, STANDARD” EDITOR SETS NEW ARREST RECORD

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02HARARE1258

2002-05-24 10:07

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

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

UNCLAS HARARE 001258

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/PD (COX AND ROBERTSON), AF/S (KRAFT AND

SCHLACHTER)

 

NSC FOR JANDAYI FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR NEARY

 

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PHUM PREL ZI

SUBJECT: “STANDARD” EDITOR SETS NEW ARREST RECORD

 

 

1.   BORNWELL CHAKAODZA, EDITOR OF THE INDEPENDENT WEEKLY

“STANDARD” WAS ARRESTED AGAIN ON MAY 23, SETTING A NEW

ZIMBABWEAN RECORD FOR THE NUMBER OF TIMES AN EDITOR HAS

BEEN ARRESTED IN ONE WEEK. CHAKAODZA WAS ALSO ARRESTED ON

MAY 22 AND MAY 16. WHILE OTHER EDITORS MAY BOAST A HIGHER

NUMBER OF LIFETIME ARRESTS (BY OUR RECKONING “DAILY NEWS”

EDITOR GEOFF NYAROTA LEADS THAT RACE WITH 6 ARRESTS IN THE

LAST TWO YEARS), NO ONE COMES CLOSE TO CHAKAODZA’S RECORD-

SETTING THREE TIMES IN ONE WEEK.

 

2.   THE MAY 23 ARREST OF CHAKAODZA AND ONE OF HIS

REPORTERS, FARAI MUTSAKA, WAS FOR “PUBLISHING FALSEHOODS,”

A VIOLATION OF THE ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND PROTECTION OF

PRIVACY ACT (AIPPA). THE MAY 23 ARREST WAS SPARKED BY AN

ARTICLE IN THE MAY 12 EDITION OF THE “STANDARD” THAT

PREDICTED STAFFING CHANGES AT THE GOVERNMENT-OWNED

“ZIMPAPERS” PUBLISHING CONMPANY. THE ARREST FOLLOWED THE

NOW-FAMILIAR NORM: POLICE ARRIVE AT THE “STANDARD’S”

OFFICES, TAKE THE JOURNALISTS INTO CUSTODY AND DELIVER THEM

TO POLICE CENTRAL HQ IN HARARE. AT THE POLICE STATION, THE

JOURNALISTS SPEND TWO OR THREE HOURS ANSWERING A POLICE

INSPECTOR’S QUESTIONS ABOUT DIFFERENT STORIES IN VARIOUS

EDITIONS OF THE NEWSPAPER. EVENTUALLY, THE POLICE CHARGE

THE JOURNALISTS FOR A SPECIFIC STORY, COLLECT THE BAIL, AND

LET THEM GO. THUS FAR, THE JOURNALISTS HAVE NOT BEEN

MISTREATED.

 

3.   THE HARASSMENT OF THE “STANDARD” OVER THE LAST WEEK

HAS BEEN EXPENSIVE IN TERMS OF TIME LOST IN THE NEWSROOM,

LEGAL FEES AND BAIL. THE ARRESTS, HOWEVER, SEEM TO HAVE

STRENGTHENED THE RESOLVE OF CHAKAODZA, HIS REPORTERS AND

THEIR PUBLISHER TO CONTINUE THEIR WORK.

 

SULLIVAN

 

(11 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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