Freelance journalist missing in Zimbabwe

Kudzai Musengi, a freelance journalist based in Gweru, is missing according to an alert issued by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Zimbabwe) today. Musengi failed to return home after normal working hours on 31 March and family and colleagues have not been able to contact him.

MISA-Zimbabwe strongly appeals to the authorities and law enforcement agencies to do everything within their power and means to ensure that they find Musengi and in particular issue stern warnings that the abductions, threats and harassment of journalists conducting their lawful professional duties will be met with the full wrath of the law. link

The disappearance of Musengi comes after the arrest of Jestina Mukoko and freelance photojournalist Shadreck Manyere in December, 2008. The case against Mukoko continues. Manyere remains in cutody.

UPDATE: Musengi was released Wednesday evening,

Lawyer Tonderai Chitere narrated the ordeal suffered by his client. He said on Tuesday around 8.45pm a man at a local bar asked Musengi to come outside and meet 3 men in a metallic blue sedan who wanted to give him a story. It was then that he was abducted and taken to an unknown location for interrogation. The next day Wednesday he was still blindfolded and interrogated by what sounded like a different team of operatives. Later in the evening his laptop and cellphones that had been taken from him, were returned and he was released. link

UPDATE: 7 April – Manyere has been denaied bail.