Harare – Reuters offices have been reportedly stormed in the capital of Zimbabwe by police accompanied by state security agents, while a top aide of the Mugabe family has been arrested for allegedly leaking sensitive information about the President, Robert Mugabe’s trip, and the brief detention of his wife Grace.
Last month, President Mugabe accompanied by his wife Grace left for Singapore, where Mugabe was scheduled to undergo routine medical check ups. Upon arrival in Singapore, the Mugabe family was greeted by dozens of journalists at Gleneagles Hospital.
The presence of journalists irritated Grace Mugabe who retaliated by attacking 2 journalists on consecutive days, and throwing their cellphones into a pond close to the entrance of the facility.
Police were called in and effectively detained Grace Mugabe, and stated that she would not be allowed to leave the facility or the country until or unless she reimbursed the scribes money equivalent to the value of the cellphones she destroyed.
On return to Zimbabwe, the Mugabe family was said to have been extremely upset about how journalists in Singapore were made aware of Mugabe’s trip to the country.
“Robert Mugabe left on Friday, and arrived the next day. State media only revealed his trip on Sunday by which time Mugabe would have been checked in to the facility. Usually this is how the protocol works. His arrival is only announced once he has already arrived. This helps avoid unwanted attention, and people camping outside the clinic to protest.
But this time, the moment they hit the air, someone told Reuters Zimbabwe, which in turn told Reuters Singapore, which led to many journos waiting at the hospital. Which cause great embarrassment.” said a source within the Mugabe’s inner circle.
“Upon return, one top aide was fingered in the information leak. He has since been arrested, and is being tortured to reveal how much more information he leaked. They also suspect it was him who told you guys at Khuluma Afrika, because the story was largely kept secret, and even Singapore guys were paid off to keep quiet about the incident. So now that is the million dollar question.”
Khuluma Afrika understands that journalists at Reuters Zimbabwe were promised ‘severe consequences’ should any further ‘leaks’ lead back to them.
Information Minister, Chris Mushowe was reportedly instructed to threaten them with immediate closure and expulsion.
- Khuluma Afrika is a center for investigative journalism and political analysis