Hwange is Zimbabwe’s biggest wildlife sanctuary and it has suffered rampant poaching of elephants by cyanide poisoning in recent weeks. The authorities have discovered more than 60 elephant carcasses with some being brutally de-horned.
The three comprising Editor Mabasa Sasa and journalists Brian Chitemba and Tinashe Farawo were still detained at the Harare Central Police Station Monday night where police were still to record their warned and cautioned statements, the Herald newspaper reported Tuesday.
The lawyer for the journalists James Muzangaza was quoted as saying that the three were arrested for allegedly publishing falsehoods as police claim there were no any reports of police investigating their members for alleged involvement in poaching activities.
The newspaper carried in its Nov 1 edition a story headlined “Top cop fingered in poaching saga” in which it alleged that one of the suspects under active investigation was an assistant commissioner in the police force and that several others had been arrested in connection with the killing of 22 jumbos on Oct. 25.
The newspaper further reported that the syndicate poached the jumbos for ivory tusks since beginning of the year.
It was not immediately clear what law the three scribes were being charged under but in the past authorities have arrested several journalists for contravening sections of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act which deals with the publication of statements that undermine law enforcement agents. Enditem