Zimbabwe arrests three journalists

04 November 2015 - 02:09 By Reuters

Zimbabwean police said yesterday they had arrested an editor and two reporters from a state-owned newspaper for "publishing falsehoods" after reporting that a police commissioner and an officer were involved in elephant killings. Poachers have used cyanide to kill 60 elephants in the Hwange National Park since September.Sunday Mail editor Mabasa Sasa and reporters Tinashe Farawo and Brian Chitemba were arrested on Monday and held at a Harare police station, said police spokesman Charity Charamba.The newspaper reported in its latest edition that an unnamed assistant police commissioner, a police officer, rangers from the parks agency and Asian businessmen were part of a syndicate being investigated for the poaching of elephants in Zimbabwe.Charamba denied the police were investigating any of its officers for poaching. She said the three journalists would be charged with publishing or communicating false statements that were prejudicial to the state."The falsehoods have dented and tarnished the image of the [police] organisation," Charamba said.The three journalists are expected to appear in court today. The charge carries a fine of $5000 or a sentence of up to 20 years upon conviction.

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