|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
From ZWNEWS, 14 November
The death of journalist Mark Chavunduka was "a tragedy for his family, for his profession, and for Zimbabwe," said publishing executive Clive Wilson, who was managing director of The Standard when Chavunduka edited the independent newspaper. Chavunduka and a senior reporter, Ray Choto, were arrested in 1999 and tortured by Robert Mugabe's security forces after The Standard carried a report of unrest in the Zimbabwe army. "Mark and Ray maintained the highest professional ethics of the best of journalists in Zimbabwe and indeed anywhere in the world," Wilson told ZWNEWS. "They stuck to their story of a planned coup within the Zimbabwe army, and were an example of integrity that was an inspiration to those independent journalists who have continued to expose the shortcomings of the Zanu PF government and who have also paid the price." Chavunduka, who was 37, died in Harare on Tuesday. Cause of death was not announced, but it was not believed to be linked to the torture. He received numerous awards as a courageous journalist, and was key to focusing international attention on the brutality of Mugabe's regime. "His death marks the passing of the first hero of the independent media's own chimurenga against those forces that are leading 12 million Zimbabweans into untold suffering and deprivation," added Wilson. "If Mark had not died, he would have been covering those stories with his usual zeal."
Correction: In yesterday’s obituary, we said, erroneously, that Chavunduka gave himself up to the security police in 1999 on the understanding that Choto would be released. It was Choto who gave himself up in the hope of winning Chavunduka's release. In the event, both men were held and tortured.