Zimbabwe police said on Friday they have opened a murder investigation
into the death of an independent journalist, and lawyers acting for
another reporter arrested under sweeping media laws said he was
assaulted and tortured in custody, according to a report on M&G Online.


Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena said the body of Edward Chikombo, a former cameraman at the government-run Zimbabwe television, the sole TV station, was found on March 31, dumped in the Darwindale district, about 30km north-west of his home in the Harare township of Glen View. He had been missing since March 29.

There were indications Chikombo was assaulted and died from injuries, state radio quoted Bvudzijena as saying. No further details were given.

No confirmation was available on reports that Chikombo, who left the state broadcaster in 2002, had sold footage of last month's political unrest to foreign media organisations, including images of the injuries of assaulted opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and other pro-democracy activists.

A second independent journalist, Gift Phiri, was freed on bail on Thursday after nearly a week in custody, suffered a broken finger and other injuries in police assaults and "torture", said Rangu Nyamurundu, his lawyer.

Phiri was hospitalised for further medical examinations after his release. He was charged under media laws for allegedly writing "falsehoods" and working as a journalist without a government licence for the British-based newspaper the Zimbabwean and an online news service run by Zimbabwean exiles.

Click here to read the full report, posted on M&G Online.