A Zimbabwean journalist who wrote a story on a local daily claiming that President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace had issued second-hand undergarments to supporters has been arrested.
A Zimbabwean Human Rights attorney revealed that Kenneth Nyangani, a NewsDay reporter, was taken in by police on Monday “for allegedly writing and publishing a story over the donation of some used undergarments by First Lady Grace Mugabe”.
The journalist is said to have been detained at eastern city of Mutare and could be charged with “criminal defamation” charges, although he is yet to be arraigned in court.
On Monday, the journalist wrote a story alleging that a ruling party Zanu-PF MP, Esau Mupfumi dished out the second hand underwear donated by first lady Grace Mugabe.
“I met the First Lady Grace Mugabe and I was given these clothes so that I can give you. I have briefs for you and I am told that most of your briefs are not in good shape, please come and collect your allocations today,” the NewsDay quoted Mupfumi as saying.
“We have night dresses, sandals and clothes, come and take, this is from your First Lady Grace Mugabe.”
Amnesty International has demanded for immediate unconditional release of Nyangani, arguing that the arrest is an attempt to gag the media.
“The intention is to send a chilling message to journalists and media workers that they must self-censor rather than expose truths,” it said in a statement.