By Professor Matodzi
Harare, June 20, 2014 – A ZIMBABWEAN journalist was Friday certain to endure a second night in police detention after he was arrested Thursday over articles that he allegedly published which the police claim to be offensive.
Police on Thursday arrested and detained Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi on charges that they claimed had something to do “with publications that he did”.
On Friday, frantic efforts to interview Kudzayi’s lawyer Jospeh Mandizha yielded blanks as his mobile phone was unreachable while court officials confirmed that the journalist had not been brought before the court for initial remand.
Kudzayi was on Friday certain to spend the night in police detention cells and is now expected to appear in court Saturday before the lapse of the 24-hour detention period that is permitted under Zimbabwean laws.
However, the police in Zimbabwe have on numerous occasions breached the provision and detained suspects beyond the prescribed period.
Besides Kudzayi, the police are reportedly keen on questioning Zimbabwe Independent editor Dumisani Muleya for yet to be disclosed charges.
Kudzayi was appointed Sunday Mail editor recently taking over from Brazhnev Malaba.
Media reports indicate that the police could be reacting to recent complaints made by Zanu PF leader President Robert Mugabe that Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Jonathan Moyo is a “counter-revolutionary” who has employed Zanu PF “enemies as editors at Zimpapers.”
After Mugabe’s public criticism of Moyo, Presidential Affairs Minister and Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa also weighed in labelling those allegedly working to destroy the ruling party and the journalist who had been recently appointed as “weevils” who must be destroyed.