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Zambia arrests editor, journalist over anti-corruption letter

16 July 2015, 15:57

Lusaka - Zambian police on Thursday arrested the editor of a major newspaper and one of its journalists, police spokesperson Charity Chanda said.

Post editor Fred M'membe and journalist Mukosha Funga were detained four months after the newspaper published a letter which Zambia's anti-corruption commission allegedly sent to President Edgar Lungu.

The letter reportedly informed Lungu about an inquiry into allegations that his aide, Kaizer Zulu, received a bribe of $200 000 from a Chinese company to obtain business in the southern African country.

The letter was published in March, but M'membe and Funga were not questioned until May and not detained until now. Police justified the arrest by saying the letter was a classified document.

Zambia is increasingly restricting the freedom of the press, with journalists being intimidated and threatened with arrest as the government faces criticism over economic problems, said Andrew Sakala, president of the Press Association of Zambia.

Many Zambians complain about rising food and fuel prices and dwindling agricultural production.

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