‘Raid’ on Masvingo Mirror newspaper offices leaves staff uneasy

June 21, 2011 at 7:45 am Leave a comment

By Tichaona Sibanda

The editor of Masvingo Mirror, an independent paper in Masvingo province
says the recent raid on their offices has left staff “shaken and worried
about their safety.”

Last week Wednesday unknown assailants broke into the weekly paper’s offices
in Masvingo town and ‘stole’ memory cards containing vital data, information
and pictures.

The newspaper’s editor Golden Maunganidze told SW Radio Africa on Monday
that he believed the raid was carried out by “a professional team”,
interested only in identifying the paper’s informants and news sources.

“I have difficulty understanding the reason behind the raid. It is the duty
of journalists to disclose the truth to the public and the Mirror’s
activities are no more than that,” Maunganidze said.

Media organisations and journalists have reacted with shock to the
ransacking of the Mirror offices. The newspaper is described as ‘fearless’
and is known for being a fierce critic of politicians from all parties in
the inclusive government.

The raid came a few days after the paper ran a lead story on three
influential chiefs from Chivi district. The chiefs openly declared that they
would de-campaign against Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF party in the next
elections if they allowed certain politicians to stand again as candidates
in Chivi.

The chiefs blame ZANU PF senator for Chivi, Josiah Hungwe and Chivi north
MP, Tranos Huruva for undermining them and meddling in local party politics,
which has left Mugabe’s party hugely unpopular in the district.

Maunganidze, who authored the story, said the assailants behind the raid do
not believe in democracy, adding that whoever it was doesn’t know that media
is the way to convey information to people.

“The scary thing is that Masvingo is a small town and the people who raided
our offices could be people who have studied our routine, monitored our
offices and you never know what is next in their minds,” Maunganidze said.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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