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Kenyan journo detained in Zim

26 July 2013, 10:12

Harare -  A Kenya journalist has been detained in Zimbabwe as he did not have the proper accreditation to cover the July 31 polls, as regional and international media houses make a beeline for what analysts deem watershed elections.

According to immigration officials, Charles Omondi was arrested at the Harare International Airport by immigration on Thursday, as he did not have adequate accreditation papers as required by Zimbabwe Electoral laws to cover the elections that effectively bring closure to the acrimonious coalition government of Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and Welshman Ncube of the smaller faction of the MDC.

Incumbent President Robert Mugabe declared a public holiday next Wednesday to enable Zimbabwe's more than six million registered voters to cast their ballots.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is responsible for the accreditation of all journalists intending to cover the polls next Wednesday.

Human rights lawyers said on Thursday they were battling to secure Omondi's release who works for Nation Media Group.

"We sent a lawyer, Wellington Pasipanodya from our media lawyers' network but he was denied to see him," said Jacqueline Chikakano, a legal officer with the Media Institute of Southern Africa Zimbabwe Chapter.

"He was told that he is not on Zimbabwe soil since he is yet to be legally allowed into the country. I called an immigration official they said there is nothing that can be done as he will be deported," she said.

There was no immediate comment from Immigration but sources said Omondi was likely to be deported.

- CAJ News


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