INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Daily News Editor Geoff Nyarota Arrested

Published: Fri 9 Nov 2001 10:52 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
091052Z Nov 01
UNCLASSIFIED PTQ5839
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ACTION INR-00
INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 A-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 INL-00
DODE-00 DS-00 UTED-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 L-00 VCE-00
NSAE-00 TEST-00 USIE-00 IIP-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 NFAT-00
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FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0248
INFO NSC WASHDC
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
UNCLAS HARARE 003353
SIPDIS
AF/PD FOR COX, ROBERTSON, AF/S FOR SCHLACHTER, AF/P,
INR/R/MR, NSC FOR ]ENDAYI FRAZER
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ZI PREL PHUM
SUBJECT: DAILY NEWS EDITOR GEOFF NYAROTA ARRESTED
1. GEOFF NYAROTA, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF THE PRIVATELY OWNED
DAILV "THE DAILY NEWS," AND HIS FORMER BUSINESS PARTNER
WILF MBANGA WERE ARRESTED ON NOVEMBER 8. DETECTIVES
FROM THE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT ARRESTED
BOTH MEN AT THEIR HOMES AT 0600 HOURS. THE TWO WERE
PICKED UP FOR INTERROGATION FOLLOWINQ ALLEOATIONS,
CARRIED LN THE QOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED DAILY "THE
HERALD,"THAT THEY FLOUTED INVESTMENT LAWS AND EXCHANGE
CONTROL REGULATIONS WHEN THEY OBTAINED AN OPERATING
LICENSE TO LAUNCH "THE DAILY NEWS" IN 1998. NYAROTA
AND MBANGA WERE DETAINED OVERNIOHT AT RHODESVLLLE
POLICE STATION IN HARARE. ACCORDING TO A POLICE
SPOKESMAN, THE TWO WERE PICKED UP ON "ALLEQATIONS OF
FRAUD OR ALTERNATIVELY CONTRAVENLNG SECTION 40 OF THE
ZIMBABWE INVESTMENT CENTER ACT BY SUPPLYING FALSE
INFORMATION IN AN EFFORT TO OBTAIN AN OPERATING
LICENSE."
2. THE NOVEMBER 9 EDITION OF THE "DAILY NEWS" CARRIED A
FRONT-PAGE STORY ON THE ARRESTS, STATING THAT THE
ARRESTS WERE CAUSED BY A CLERICAL ERROR MADE BY
PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS IN DOCUMENTS RELATED TO THE
NEWSPAPER'S ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION. ACCORDING TO
STAFF AT THE "DAILY NEWS," PRLCE WATERHOUSE-PREPARED
DOCUMENTS INADVERTENTLY REFERRED TO A COMPANY NAMED
MOTLEY INVESTMENTS (PRIVATE) LIMITED AS THE COMPANY
THAT WAS TO CHANGE ITS NAME TO ASSOCIATED NEWSPAPERS
. ZIMBABWE (PRIVATE) LIMITED. THE CORRECT NAME OF THE
COMPANY WAS MOTLEY TRADINQ (PRIVATE) LIMITED, THE
COMPANY INITIALLY FOUNDED-BY NYAROTA AND MBANGA.
3. AS OF 0800 ON NOVEMBER 9, NYAROTA AND MBAN9A WERE ST
IN POLICE CUSTODY AT A SUBURBAN HARARE POLICE STATION
ACCORDING TO NYAROTA'S SECRETARY, WHO VISITED THE TWO
THIS MORNLNG AT THE POLICE STATLON, THEY BOTH LOOKED
FINE AND LN LIGH SPIRITS. THE PAPER'S DEPUTY EDITOR
CHARACTERIZED THE ARRESTS AS "DURE POLITICA,
HARASSMENT" AND SAID IT SHOWED.BOTH THE SUCCESS OF TH
UNCLASSIFIED
PAGE 03 HARARE 03353 091135Z
"DAILY NEWS" AND THE "GOVERNMENT'S FEAR OF ALTERNATIV
POINTS OF VIEW."
SULLIVAN
UNCLASSIFIED
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