The Zimbabwe Independent has suspended a senior reporter, Augustine
Mukaro, for allegedly leaking a story to Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO), writes Gugu Ziyaphapha.
Investigations by the paper and its internet service provider revealed that MukaroÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Zimbabwe Independent email account had been used to route the story to the CIO via the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ). Mukaro is also ZUJÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s treasurer.
The paper instituted the investigations after the CIO director general, Happyton Bonyongwe, filed a court application seeking to stop it from publishing a story that said he was involved in former finance minister Simba MakoniÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s presidential bid.
The leaked story also detailed power struggles and political infighting in the CIO.
In his court application to gag the paper, the CIO boss attached an unedited copy of the unpublished story, leaving the paper to wonder how he could have obtained it.
The printout showed the article had been sent through the ZUJÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s email address.
The spy boss claims the story is malicious and compromises national security. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œPublication of a detailed version would cause irreversible harm, loss of cohesion, alarm and despondency, indiscipline and multiplicity of adverse consequences, which have the potential of militating against the operation and effectiveness of the security organisation,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Bonyongwe said in his affidavit.
ZUJ president Mathew Takaona said they are investigating how the unionÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s email address was used to channel the leaked story to the CIO.
The Independent has put the story on hold because of the court case and further investigations into the leak.