Zimbabwean freelancer Stanley Karombo, who had been reported missing
amid fears of kidnapping by security agents, spent three days in police
detention, writes our correspondent.
Karombo was arrested during a speech by President Robert Mugabe at Gwanzura stadium on April 18,
His lawyer, Wilbert Mandinde of the local branch of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa), said the journalist had been reported missing by his wife after he was missing for two days.
"His wife phoned us and expressed fears of abduction. We could not locate him at any police station until Tuesday when I phoned his cellphone, which was answered by a policeman. This is when the policeman indicated to us that Stanley had been arrested on Friday but could not be released since it was a holiday. Unfortunatly, the holiday fell on a weekend and it meant he had to be taken to court on Monday," said Mandinde.
Karombo was fined Z$14 million for allegedly behaving in a manner likely to "breach peace and cause public disorder" when he was caught taking pictures in Highfield during the Mugabe rally.
Fears for the fate of the former Wits University journalism student were heightened by the fact that other media workers were picked up by police during a strike called by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to force the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) release the results of March 29 Presidential elections.
Freelancer Frank Chikowore and former Daily News editor Luke Tamborinyoka – now the MDC information director – were arrested on April 15 on allegations of torching a bus in Harare's high density suburb of Warren Park.
Both journalists have been denied bail and are now in remand prison until May 5 when they are expected to appear in court to answer charges of arson.
Their lawyer Harrison Nkomo said he had filed an appeal in the High Court to overturn the magistrate's court denial of bail.
"The magistrate has denied my clients bail. This is a very sad chapter for Zimbabwe. Chikowore is sick and has been denied access to a doctor. He is still complaining of abdominal and chest pains," said Nkomo.
Nkomo had on April 17 filed for a High Court order to compel the police to release Chikowore into the custody of a doctor for treatment. But he was denied the order.