Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe File picture: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP
Harare - Zimbabwe police have arrested journalist Kenneth Nyangani, after a report he allegedly wrote appeared in the privately-owned Newsday newspaper,  claiming that first lady Grace Mugabe had donated used underwear to supporters of the ruling Zanu PF party. 

Nyangani reports for Newsday from eastern city, Mutare, near the Mozambique border and is represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.  

Committee to Protect Journalists, Africa Programme co-ordinator, Angela Quintal, a well known South Africa journalist, released a statement on Tuesday.

The first charge, criminal defamation, had to be withdrawn as it had been previously found to be unconstitutional. 

"Zimbabwean authorities should stop harassing Kenneth Nyangani and release him immediately without charge," said Quintal. "The fact that police had to fish for a new charge because their first accusation was unconstitutional shows that this arrest is aimed squarely at intimidating Zimbabwean journalists into self-censorship.”

Nyangani, who is being held in police cells in Mutare, will appear in court on Wednesday. He is now charged with criminal nuisance. 

Independent Foreign Service