Thursday, May 09, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) Editor arrested over MDC-T, generals story
07/05/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

POLICE on Tuesday arrested the editor of the Zimbabwe Independent, Dumisani Muleya, and chief reporter, Own Gagare, and charged them with criminal defamation over a story claiming secret contacts between the country’s generals and the MDC-T party.

Gagare was the author of the story titled ‘MDC-T engages army chiefs’ and published in the weekly’s April 26 edition.

Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantine Chiwenga and Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri – who were both alleged to have met with emissaries of MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai “to discuss their current and future roles in the security services and packages if Tsvangirai wins” – have already denied any such contacts which they say would be inappropriate.

It was not clear who the complainant leading to Tuesday’s arrests, but Chihuri – speaking last week – urged journalists to “stop being used” by “confused malcontents”.

He bristled at “liars and peddlers of falsehoods”, warning: “The law will visit them harshly.”

General Chiwenga also forcefully denied ever meeting the MDC-T’s emissaries who were led, according to the Independent, by the party’s secretary for defence Giles Mutsekwa.

“It’s just not possible for me to entertain the MDC-T leader, we are different. Just like oil and water, we cannot mix,” General Chiwenga said.

The response of the generals to the Zimbabwe Independent’s report has heightened concerns in the MDC-T that security chiefs are too close to President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party and may not allow a change of leadership at the next elections.

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