Zimbabwe authorities on Wednesday arrested a journalist over a story alleging police were recruiting war veterans to take over senior posts ahead of next year’s elections, media reported.
Nqobani Ndlovu was arrested when he handed himself over to police after detectives called his Bulawayo-based newspaper, the independent Standard, several times, NewsDay reported on its online edition.
He was to be charged with publishing a defamatory statement against the police, the paper said.
His lawyer Josphat Tshuma confirmed that the journalist was detained. “Ndlovu was asked to reveal his sources, of which he said it was unethical for him as a journalist to disclose his sources,” Tshuma was quoted as saying.
Ndlovu’s arrest comes just over a week after police issued a warrant of arrest for the exiled editor of an independent weekly newspaper for publishing a story about the death of a senior election official two years ago.
The warrant has been issued for Wilf Mbanga, owner and editor of The Zimbabwean newspaper.
President Robert Mugabe signalled in October that presidential elections could be held next year.
Media in Zimbabwe has been operating under stringent rules over the past decade, with several newspapers forced to shut down and journalists harassed by the police. — Sapa-AFP