Harare - Two Zimbabwean journalists have been arrested for publishing a story that alleges preferential treatment of the country’s secret police regarding December salaries and bonus payments, reports revealed on Friday.
According to New Zimbabwe, privately owned NewsDay deputy editor, Nqaba Matshazi, together with reporter Xolisani Ncube were arrested on Thursday for contravening section 31(1) of the criminal law (codification and reform) act, which forbids "communicating or publishing false statements prejudicial to the State".
The duo was reportedly held at the Harare central police station while awaiting court appearance on Friday.
On Wednesday, NewsDay reported that the country’s secret police, the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) secretly received their 2015 payment on December 21, and also received bonuses 10 days later.
According to the report, the office of President Robert Mugabe was solely responsible for the country’s secret police.
Read:Zim police looking for journo who worked on NYT story - reports
"Members of the CIO got their salaries and bonuses on December 31. In fact, salaries were paid on December 21 and bonuses followed," a government insider was quoted saying at the time.
This came as Zimbabwe's riot police unleashed brutal force against teachers in Harare on Monday, as they protested against the delayed payment of government workers.
Reports said dozen of teachers were injured, while three union leaders were arrested after staging what the police described as an "illegal" demonstration.
The state-controlled Herald newspaper, reported on Thursday that government had since given civil servants specific January pay dates and also promised to soon give them firm dates on when their 2015 bonuses would be paid.
- News 24