Police Interrogate Journalist Over "Curfew"

By Farai Sibanda

Bulawayo,February 19 2014-Zimbabwe police on Wednesday morning

summoned Southern Eye journalist, Nqobani Ndlovu to Matabeleland North

provincial police headquarters over a story he wrote titled “Police

terror in Tsholotsho” in Wednesday’s edition of the paper.

Ndlovu was summoned to the headquarters located

at Southampton House along Main Street in Bulawayo at 11 am by Chief

Superintendent Johannes Govo, Officer Commanding Tsholotsho

district where he was grilled for more than four hours before being

released around 3 pm. He was accompanied by Lison

Ncube of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

Speaking to Radio VOP after meeting the police Ndlovu’s lawyer Ncube

said the cops were not happy with the journalist story.

“They asked Ndlovu several questions over that Tsholotsho story. They

haven’t charged him yet, but told him to go home and there is a

possibility that they will summon him again. They told us they had a

directive from their bosses at Police general headquarters in Harare to

investigate the case,” said Ncube.

The story which Ndlovu wrote revealed that the police had imposed a “curfew”

at Tsholotsho Growth Point after burglars broke into Matabeleland

North State Minister Cain Mathema’s grocery shop at the business


Following the burglary, Tsholotsho villagers said they had endured a

week of beatings and harassment by the cops with some saying they were

being left with no option but to retaliate to protect themselves.

In November 2010 police arrested Ndlovu and he spent 10 days at Khami

remand prison over another story titled “Police Exams Cancelled” which

they said tarnished their image.”

The story alleged that retired police officers and war veterans had

been re-called to take up vacant top posts in the police force where

they would be directing operations during general elections.

The harassment of Ndlovu by police came a few weeks after another

Southern Eye reporter Albert Mazhale-Ncube was threatened by

Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs minister Abedinico Ncube. This

follows certain critical articles authored by Mazhale about the Zanu

PF minister.

Recently, visibly drunk Zanu PF youths also assaulted Daily News

reporter Godfrey Mtimba  in Masvingo during a US embassy meeting with

residents of the city. Mtimba was taking photographs when the Zanu PF

youths tore his jacket before assaulting him. 

Two weeks ago the journalist and media watchdog body the Media Institute of Southern (MISA)

said it was concerned about the continuous harassment of journalists in the country.