Zimbabwean journalists detained, accused of slander for poaching report implicating officials

Police in Zimbabwe say three journalists from a state-run weekly newspaper will be charged after allegedly implicating an unnamed top police officer and other officials in recent fatal cyanide poisonings of more than 60 elephants by poachers.

Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said Tuesday that Sunday Mail editor Mabasa Sasa, investigations editor Brian Chitemba and reporter Tinashe Farawo were arrested Monday and will appear in court on charges of slandering the state.

Defense lawyer James Muzangaza says his clients will appear in court Wednesday.

The Sunday Mail this week ran a front-page story citing unnamed sources as saying a syndicate that included an unnamed police assistant commissioner, park rangers and foreign nationals from Asia were involved in the cyanide poisoning of elephants.

Charamba says the story is false.