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Journalist arrested

Staff writer

A REPORTER with the Zimbabwe Independent, Blessing Zulu, spent a night in police cells on Wednesday after he was arrested while covering a National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)

-organised demonstration. He was among 159 people rounded up in Africa Unity Square.

Zulu was arrested alongside photographer Newton Spicer and two Herald staffers, photographer Simon Sithole and Takunda Mawodza, who were quickly released by the police. The police called in Herald news editor Innocent Gore who left with the reporters.

Zulu said once he identified himself as a reporter from the Zimbabwe Independent there was increased hostility.

“One of the officers beat me with a baton stick and said if I was pro-whites I should go to Britain,” he said.

“We slept in the corridors of police cells at Harare Central police station without blankets and the toilets were blocked,” he said.

Zulu was released without charge at 11.00am yesterday after the intervention of the Independent’s lawyer, Chris Mhike, of Atherstone & Cook.

Mhike condemned the arrest as shocking.

“Zulu’s ordeal at the hands of the police is a bald and shocking illustration of the harassment of journalists in this country,” Mhike said.

NCA spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said police assaulted and dumped NCA members on the outskirts of the city.

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