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Newspaper offices ransacked

(MISA/IFEX) - 17 June 2011 - Unknown criminals broke into the offices of "The Mirror" weekly newspaper in Masvingo on the night of 15 June 2011 where they tampered with computers and laptops before stealing a memory card from an editorial camera.

According to acting editor Garikai Mafirekureva, nothing of substance was stolen except the memory card and a bunch of office keys. Mafirekureva said the burglars also broke a safe containing personal information and administration documents. Surprisingly, a cash box that was inside the safe was left intact.

Police detectives visited "The Mirror" offices on 16 June and asked members of staff not to remove anything from the offices until completion of their preliminary investigations.

"We suspect that the motive of the break-in is . . . to spy on us and intimidate us from carrying out our duties. This cannot be an ordinary burglary because if it is, the assailants (sic) should have taken away a cash box containing money, laptops and cameras. The suspects could also be on a mission to bug us," Mafirekureva said.

He said the memory card contained pictures of chiefs at a meeting where they demanded the removal of Senator Josiah Hungwe and MP Tranos Huruva from office. At that meeting, the chiefs demanded for the senator and parliamentarian to step down or they would "decampaign" them ahead of the much speculated elections.

"'The Mirror' will not be distracted or intimidated from carrying out its mission of getting people to hear and be heard because of such thuggery. We hope the police investigations will lead us to the culprits," said Mafirekureva.

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