Zimbabwe Journalist Slain
Police in Zimbabwe's capital city have opened a murder investigation into the death of independent journalist Edward Chikombo, whose body was found March 31. Chikombo died from injuries inflicted by an unknown assailant.
Chikombo, a cameraman who had left his position at the state run television network for the more perilous career of freelancing, may have been the source of many of the images of Zimbabwe's unrest recently appearing in the world's media. He was rumored to be the source of the footage of the assaulted opposition leader Morgan Tsavangirai. Those photographs, some from the intensive care ward where Tsavangirai ended up for a suspected skull fracture, helped to bring unprecedented scrutiny to the political unrest. That Chikombo helped to get the word out has not been confirmed by Zimbabwe officialdom:
No confirmation was available on reports Chikomba, who left the state broadcaster in 2002, had sold footage of last month's political unrest to foreign media organisations, including images of the injuries of assaulted opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and other pro-democracy activists.
Gift Phiri, another independent journalist, was freed on bail on Thursday and according to his lawyer was tortured while in custody. He is now undergoing tests.
Phiri was charged with writing "falsehoods" and working as a journalist without a government license and for The Zimbabwean and for writing for an unnamed online news service.