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Arrest warrant issued against UK-based Zimbabwean editor

(MISA/IFEX) - The police have reportedly issued a warrant of arrest against Wilf Mbanga, the London-based editor of "The Zimbabwean" newspaper, following the publication of a story linked to the death of a senior official with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in 2008.

Mbanga is accused of publishing a story after the 2008 elections "which undermined President Robert Mugabe".

According to "The Zimbabwean", the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) reported that the police want to question Mbanga over an article published in "The Zimbabwean" following the death of the ZEC director for polling, Ignatius Mushangwe.

The story alleged that Mushangwe was murdered after allegedly leaking the presidential results for the March 29, 2008 elections.

In the report, Mbanga claimed there was a meeting attended by President Mugabe, Emmerson Munangagwa (Minister of Defence) and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) boss Happyton Bonyongwe, and former ZEC chairperson George Chiweshe among other ZEC officials with an agenda to eliminate Mushangwe.

However, "The Zimbabwean" reports cite ZBC quoting Chief Superintendent Phiri saying police investigations revealed that no such meeting took place and the report was unfounded and meant to tarnish the image of the President.

"This is a ridiculous waste of manpower and resources. I have lived here (United Kingdom) for six years and have been in telephone contact with the police PR department on numerous occasions seeking confirmation of stories," said Mbanga.

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