Zimbabwean police have arrested two journalists in connection with a midweek news report that the President, Robert Mugabe,’ was in a ‘fresh health scare.’
Editor of the privately-owned News Day newspaper and his senior reporter who authored the story were picked up by police, their lawyer confirmed.
Wisdom Mudzungairi and his reporter, Richard Chidza, have subsequently been charged for undermining the president.
The second accused is the editor and the third accused is the journalist. They are accused of breaching section 33 of criminal law codification and reform act, undermining or insulting the office of the president.
They were summoned on Friday before the charge was slapped on them. They were later released and are expected to appear in court on Saturday.
Publishers of the paper, Alpha Media Holdings, were the first accused according to the charges.
“The first accused is Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) and the second accused is the editor and the third accused is the journalist.
“They are accused of breaching section 33 of criminal law codification and reform act, undermining or insulting the office of the president,” Lawyer Obey Shava was quoted as saying.
The story published on Wednesday alleged that the President had virtually ‘sneaked out of the country in a bad shape.’ It quoted anonymous sources at the presidency as saying that Fist Lady Mrs Mugabe had flown out earlier to arrange for an aircraft to fly the ailing President out for checks.
The presidential spokesperson on Wednesday confirmed that President Mugabe had left the country to Singapore for ‘scheduled medical checks,’ days after his birthday in the city of Bulawayo. George Charamba added that Mugabe was due in the country on Monday.