Police charge scribes

HARARE - Police have charged three Sunday Mail journalists for allegedly publishing falsehoods prejudicial to the State.

This follows a story by the weekly paper which claimed that an assistant commissioner of police was under investigation over his involvement in cyanide poaching at Hwange National Park.

Police spokesperson Charity Charamba told journalists at the police general headquarters yesterday that the story was false.

On Monday, police arrested The Sunday Mail editor Mabasa Sasa, investigations editor Brian Chitemba, and reporter Tinashe Farawo on contentious charges of publishing falsehoods.

“The recent case of peddling falsehoods by the overzealous editor and his two reporters of the Sunday Mail have left the police service baffled on who then should supply correct information to facilitate proper investigations to the organisation,” Charamba said.

She said the story had dented and tarnished the image of the police organisation for “no apparent reason”.

“The story does not only affect ZRP but the entire security apparatus and the nation at large,” Charamba said.

While the trio claimed that they wrote their story basing on information trawled from government sources, Charamba said journalists should not abuse their privileges.

“The editor and reporters of The Sunday Mail cannot be allowed to hide behind the privilege of journalism to peddle falsehoods. We believe the journalists and security apparatus must surely join hands together in bringing all the culprits to book instead of hiding behind their journalistic privileges.”

“As a result, the ZRP demands that the three journalists who are involved in this article have a national duty to assist police identify the alleged culprits in order to get to the bottom of the matter instead of sensationalising a serious matter. It is surprising that the senior government official who allegedly gave the story is nowhere to be found. Equally baffling the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) have denied giving information to The Sunday Mail trio as they allege.

She said so far, police have committed themselves to nabbing people behind the latest spate of poaching — something she says proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the law enforcement agents are diligently doing their job.

Over 60 elephants have been killed in the recent weeks raising concerns that authorities were failing to put an end to poaching.

And in 2013 alone, 100 elephants were killed by cyanide poisoning.

Comments (6)

Was the Cop EDMORE VETERAI ?

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mama mather - 5 November 2015

newewo Charity uchinyanya kutumira mapurisa munzira kuti vatorere vanhu mari.Ko nyanga dzacho kana dzapochiwa dzinoenda nepi munzira mune mapurisa.cio haina nguva yekutesifia asi kuona nekuriporter zvinoita kuti nyika iwire pasi .Madii kutsvaga akazvitaura munobata vaudzwa kuti corruption idzikire

pasinekudyazvarwadzanyika - 5 November 2015

The Government and police officials in Zimbabwe wouldn't last 5 minutes in the U.S. because of your fear of a free press. You blame the messengers. No wonder your country is such a disaster, thanks to Mugabe and his fellow kleptomaniacs. Dare you to publish this. Your people will throw you out and recover all the stolen blood money in your Swiss accounts. You will be called to account.

Harley - 15 November 2015

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