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Released on: February 20, 2024

Zim publication forced to stop corruption report

The NewsHawks, a Zimbabwe online investigative publication,  this week canned their follow-up stories on  allegations of corruption by three Zimbabwean army generals.

Newshawks Editor Dumisani Muleya told Campaign for Free Expression (CFE) in a WhatsApp conversation this morning the decision to halt the publication of follow-up stories on the issue was as a result of subtle threats and direct pressure from state security agents.

Muleya says the military wants to know sources of the story, claiming The NewsHawks journalists have now been put under surveillance “in a move which has a chilling effect on media freedom and journalism practice”.

In an earlier statement Muleya stated that  to protect the safety and wellbeing of reporters, “The NewsHawks has now removed its reporters from the story with immediate effect and will not carry follow-ups, including the ones already processed for this week.

“So it has been put on ice indefinitely,” he said.

He added: “We are not being silenced, but forced to make some strategic decisions or choices to secure the safety of our reporters.”

The Southern African Editors’ Forum (SAEF) said they were arlarmed and highly disturbed by these reports. The Zimbabwe chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA Zimbabwe) said that “the intimidation of journalists conducting their lawful and constitutionally-guaranteed professional responsibility instils fear and self-censorship in the media and compromises its watchdog role”.

CFE will watch this development closely.

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