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Journalist questioned by police over unpublished story

(MISA/IFEX) - Police in Plumtree have dropped a case against Kholwani Nyathi, a Bulawayo-based correspondent with "The Standard" privately-owned weekly, whom they wanted to question over an unpublished story he had investigated during a visit to the south-western border town.

Nyathi was ordered to present himself at the police station by Assistant Inspector Sifelani, Plumtree officer-in-charge, law and order section, and did so in the company of his lawyer, Munyaradzi Nzarayapenga, on 7 July 2008.

"The Standard" editor Davison Maruziva told MISA-Zimbabwe that the police had recorded the journalist's accreditation details and that the case was over.

According to Maruziva, the police wanted to question the reporter on what became of the story he had been investigating while visiting the area before the presidential runoff elections held on 27 June.

Maruziva said he had been told by Sergeant Mudenda of the police law and order section in Plumtree that the people who had been interviewed by Nyathi were wondering what had happened because the story had not been published. The editor said he subsequently provided the police with details of Nyathi's accreditation, including the Harare telephone numbers of the Media and Information Commission (MIC), for further verification of the information supplied.

The police still insisted that Nyathi present himself at the Plumtree police station. Maruziva described the police actions as "downright harassment and intimidation of journalists going about their lawful duties."

For further information on media restrictions during elections, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/94890

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