NewsDay editor, reporter arrested

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Harare Bureau
THE editor of NewsDay Wisdom Mudzungairi and reporter Richard Chidza, were yesterday arrested on allegations of undermining the office of the President after they published an article alleging that President Mugabe had prostate  cancer and had sneaked out of the country for treatment.

Also arrested is the Alpha Media Holdings legal secretary Sifikile Thabete, who is representing the company.

The three were yesterday still in custody and assisting police with investigations, sources revealed.

Their lawyer, Mr Obey Shava of Mbizo, Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners, also confirmed the arrests.

He said the first accused was AMH and Mudzungairi and Chidza were second and third accused respectively.

“It’s over the newspaper article of 2 March titled, ‘Mugabe in fresh health scare’. The offending part is where it’s reported that, ‘while officials claim Mugabe frequently travels to the Far East to have eye checkups, there are reports that he is afflicted by not only old age, but prostate cancer’,” Mr Shava said.

No official comment from the police could be obtained yesterday.

In the story, NewsDay also alleged that President Mugabe had “sneaked out of the country” on Wednesday in “a bad shape”.

The publication quoted unnamed sources who claimed that First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe had flown out of the country on Monday to organise a chartered flight for President Mugabe.

On Tuesday, President Mugabe left the  country for a scheduled medical review in Singapore.

Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr George Charamba, who is also the Presidential spokesperson, issued a statement then, saying the President was expected back in the country next week.

“His Excellency the President left this morning (Tuesday) for Singapore for a scheduled medical review,” he said.

“We expect him back in the country early next week.”

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