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Editor threatened over land scam stories

28 Sep, 2020
The Masvingo Mirror in Zimbabwe’s southern town of Masvingo says it is “gravely concerned” with threats that its Chipinge Times editor Ellen Mlambo has been receiving over “land grab” stories she is covering.

The Masvingo Mirror in Zimbabwe’s southern town of Masvingo says it is “gravely concerned” with threats that its Chipinge Times editor Ellen Mlambo has been receiving over “land grab” stories she is covering.

According to the chief editor of Masvingo Mirror, Nkulumani Mlambo, initially, the threats allegedly came from government officials for allegedly covering their offices negatively.

“Matters came to a head last week when Mlambo reported on a land wrangle involving two senior Zanu PF politicians,” said Mlambo.

The chief editor said Ellen had reportedly received the following messages:

  • Take care of your own safety.
  • Leave land issue alone.
  • Is Ellen safe?
  • Batsirai Ellen Mlambo asaitiswa (Help Ellen so that she is not used)
  • Your reports on land issues are sensitive and you can get into trouble for that.

“We wish to state categorically that (Ellen) Mlambo’s duties as a journalist are protected by the highest laws of this country and as such threats of physical harm or otherwise are totally uncalled for.

“Matters are not any better for (Ellen) Mlambo because she is a female journalist,” said the chief editor.

MISA Zimbabwe reiterates that persons that are not happy or feel aggrieved by media reports should file their complaints with the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe as opposed to threatening journalists conducting their lawful professional duties.

About MISA

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1992. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.

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