CIO in bid to GAG ZIMBABWE INDEPENDENT

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THE Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) yesterday sought a High Court order to gag the Zimbabwe Independent which was about to disclose details relating to the spy outfit’s boss, Happyton Bonyongwe.
The Independent will fight the case in the courts.

The ex-parte application was served on the paper at just before 5.00pm yesterday evening and it listed the CIO as the applicant while the Zimbabwe Independent was cited as the respondent.
The CIO through the organisation’s lawyer, Robson Chihota of Chihota & Associates, claimed the matter “involves state security”.
“Publication of a detailed version would cause irreversible harm, loss of cohesion, alarm and despondency, indiscipline and multiplicity of adverse consequences, which have the potential of militating against the operation and effectiveness of the security organisation,” said Chihota in the urgent chamber application.
Attached to the application was a print-out of the unedited version of the story. The Independent is still trying to establish how it ended up with the CIO before the paper had been published.
However, the annexures to the application show that the article appeared to have been routed through the address admin@zuj.org.zw.
An affidavit supplied by Bonyongwe said the story was “manifestly and palpably false and malicious and should thus not be published”.
Last night the Independent’s lawyer, Linda Cook, had problems tracking progress of the case at the High Court.
People sent to the High Court by the lawyer at 8.00pm were given the names of Madondo and Sharara as the officers on duty. The High Court commissionaire on duty provided cellphone numbers for the two officers.
Upon being called, Sharara said she was on leave. Madondo said he left the High Court in 2005. This was despite assurances that had been given by another High Court officer, only identified as Mudesi, that Madondo was the officer on duty at the High Court last night.
Another officer, Chirenje, said he was out of town and was not on duty anyway.
On Saturday the Herald published an interview with Bonyongwe in which he pledged allegiance to President Mugabe and distanced himself from the Simba Makoni camp.
“I can state positively that there has never been any fallout between the CIO director-general and the president,” Bonyongwe said in his affidavit. — Editor.

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