Suspected Spy Agents Ransack Masvingo Mirror Paper Offices
Masvingo, June 16, 2011 - Suspected members of President Robert Mugabe’s dreaded spy agency, the Central Intelligence Office (CIO) allegedly broke into Masvingo Mirror Paper offices on Wednesday night and got away with memory cards containing the papers vital data, information and pictures, in yet another attempt to muzzle the private press.
Recently suspected members of the same organisation broke into the News Day newspaper offices in Harare and got away with computer hard drives containing information.
Masvingo Mirror is the biggest privately owned weekly provincial newspaper and is viewed as a threat to Zanu (PF) and other organisations sympathetic to it due to its impartial coverage of news.
Masvingo Mirror Editor, Garikayi Mafirakureva, said they were shocked and wonder what the intention of the intruders was because they didn’t steal anything like cash but only took away the memory cards.
“The intruders tampered with computers and laptops and we are surprised that the burglars stole nothing except memory cards and a bunch of keys. They searched every corner of the offices and left the place turned upside down with laptops removed from their bags and lying open on the floor. Documents were strewn all over the place,” said Mafirakureva.
He said the intruders are suspected to have gained entry from a sanitary lane at the back of the building and broke into a safe containing personal information and administration documents but left the cash box intact.
He said that he suspected the job was done by spy agents and the motive was to spy on the newspaper.
‘’The administration at the Mirror suspects that the motive of the break in was nothing but a mission to spy on us and intimidate us from carrying our duties. The Mirror will not be distracted or intimidated from carrying out its mission of getting people to hear and be heard because of such thugery,” said Mafirakureva.
The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ), Secretary General, and Foster Dongozi condemned the ransacking of the Mirror and called for urgent investigations by the law enforcement officers.
“As a union we condemn strongly such acts of aggression against journalists and media houses. We are appalled by this cowardly act of aggression against law abiding and professional journalists and we call on the law enforcement officers to institute an urgent, effective and productive investigation and bring the culprits to book,” said Dongozi.