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Zimbabwe police quiz minister over detained editor

AFP

Zimbabwean independent parliamentary candidate and former information minister Jonathan Moyo attends a forum on the Zimbabwean crisis at the Atlas studio in Johannesburg, South Africa on April 23, 2008Zimbabwean independent parliamentary candidate and former information minister Jonathan Moyo attends a forum on the Zimbabwean crisis at the Atlas studio in Johannesburg, South Africa on April 23, 2008

Zimbabwean independent parliamentary candidate and former information minister Jonathan Moyo attends a forum on the Zimbabwean crisis at the Atlas studio in Johannesburg, South Africa on April 23, 2008Zimbabwean independent parliamentary candidate and former information minister Jonathan Moyo attends a forum on the Zimbabwean crisis at the Atlas studio in Johannesburg, South Africa on April 23, 2008

Police in Zimbabwe have taken the unusual step of summoning the country's information minister for questioning in the case of a state newspaper editor charged with subversion.

Jonathan Moyo, whose role involves overseeing appointments at state-run media outlets, had a "cordial" meeting with police, his lawyer said on Friday.

"I confirm we attended the police station with the honourable minister of information," lawyer Terrence Hussein told AFP.

"He was invited to come in to issue a couple of clarifications in a matter that is before the courts. He made the clarifications. The meeting was pretty cordial."

Moyo was questioned about the case of Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi, who was arrested on June 19 on a raft of charges including calling President Robert Mugabe a tyrant and alleging he stole victory in 2008 elections.

Kudzayi, who is on bail, allegedly made the remarks before Moyo appointed him editor of the state-run newspaper four months ago.

He is also facing charges of creating a Facebook account in the name of Baba Jukwa, an anonymous blogger who has a cult following for exposing alleged Mugabe government secrets.

Mugabe has publicly accused Moyo of using his influence over the state media to attack his rivals in the ruling Zanu-PF party, which is riven by divisions over who should succeed the ageing president.

Moyo has fallen in and out of favour with Mugabe since first becoming information minister in 2002. He was sacked in 2005 after being linked to a clandestine meeting held to discuss Mugabe's succession.

Since his reappointment, Moyo has overseen the hiring of new editors at state newspapers and suspended the head of the state broadcasting company.

Moyo confirmed police called him for questioning but refused to give further details.

"I consider my submission to the police to be privileged information such that it is entirely up to the investigating and prosecuting authorities to decide what to do with my averments," the state-owned Herald newspaper quoted Moyo as saying.

Date created : 2014-07-25