Sunday Mail Editor Arrested, More Journos Threatened

Harare, June 19, 2014-Zimbabwean policed this morning arrested Edmund Kudzayi, the editor of the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper, following raids on his home and his workplace, colleagues said.

Police were also hunting for Dumisani Muleya, the editor of the privately-owned Zimbabwe Independent newspaper, after several visits to his office.

Meanwhile, in the second city of Bulawayo, Mduduzi Mathuthu, the editor of the state-run Chronicle newspaper, had his house burgled early this morning.

Police were not commenting on the events which appeared linked to recent attacks on Information Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo by President Robert Mugabe, and subsequently the Minister of State in the President’s Office, Didymus Mutasa, who appeared to suggest Moyo and editors seen as loyal to him should be “gamatoxed” – reference to a banned rat killer, Gamatox.

Kudzayi had left for work early Thursday when armed men broke down a gate at his home, finding his parents. They claimed to be cops when confronted.

Kudzayi slipped out of his office after being warned of the armed visitors and went into hiding.

New understands his office at Herald House in Harare was then burgled, and his computer stolen. Within minutes, armed police came looking for him but he was gone.

Kudzai was later apprehended in Harare – but his alleged crime was not immediately clear.

Meanwhile, Muleya, editor of the Zimbabwe Independent, said police had visited his office early Thursday and asked for his address – but the company refused to release his personal information.

Muleya told New by telephone from Harare: “I understand from colleagues at work that the police officers, when asked why they wanted to see me, said ‘it’s business’. I’ve no business with the police, and until they state specifically why they want me, I will not be turning myself in.”

In Bulawayo, Chronicle editor Mduduzi Mathuthu’s home was burgled in the early hours of the morning, he said on Twitter.

Mathuthu said the motive appeared to be robbery as various items – including a TV set – were stolen. But the developments in Harare added to the intrigue.

Meanwhile, Moyo – described by Mugabe as a “weevil” and “counter revolutionary” for appointing “unpatriotic” editors – was attending a politburo meeting in Harare, which began shortly before 10AM local time. Mugabe was chairing the meeting.

Moyo met Mugabe after the unprecedented public attacks and kept his job after their tense meeting, also attended by Mutasa and Central Intelligence Organisation chief, Happyton Bonyongwe.