One  journalist has gone missing in Zimbabwe as security forces clamp down on journalists perceived to be working for international
news organisations, reports Our Correspondent.

Amid reports of brutal beatings meeted out to journalists and others, Stanley Karombo, a freelance journalist, has gone missing, raising fears that he could have been abducted by agents of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

Karombo was last seen on April 15 during the strike organised by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Frantic efforts to find him have been fruitless as all police stations in Harare visited have professed ignorance on his whereabouts.

The journalist disappeared on the same day that another freelance journalist, Frank Chikowore, was arrested for allegedly torching a bus during the strike.

Chikowore is still in police custody – 96 hours after the expiry of his detention.

On Thursday, April 17, his lawyer filed an urgent High Court application for Chikowore to have access to a doctor after he complained of abdominal and chest pains.

Also in custody with Chikowore is MDC Information director Luke Tamborinyoka, who is the former news editor of the banned Daily News.

Tamborinyoka is accused of assisting in burning the bus in Warren Park on April 15 and is yet to appear in court.

In 2007, he spent 71 days in Harare Remand Prison where he was severely tortured for allegedly "petrol bombing police stations".

The charges collapsed in court and he was acquitted.

Matthew Takaona, the president of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) became the latest victim of police and soldier brutality.

He was severely assaulted and robbed of valuables on April 17 at Maruza Chikwana Shopping Centre, Chitungwiza, 35km outside Harare.

Takaona was making his way to his car when he was accosted by 6 soldiers who made him lie on the ground while they took turns to beat him with batons, booted feet and rifle butts.

He is recovering at home where he is nursing a swollen body and welts from the beatings.
Zimbabwe is currently gripped by tension emanating from the inordinate delays in releasing the results of the March 29 presidential elections by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

The MDC has claimed it won the poll but the ZEC has said it needs more time to release the results.

Both the MDC and the international community have accused Mugabe of trying to steal the vote.