Police in Zambia have arrested freelance journalist, Wilson Pondamali, on suspicion that he is linked to online news service provider, Zambian Watchdog. Pondamali becomes the third journalist in just one week to be arrested in what appears to be a crackdown on the news websites.
The other two journalists who are currently under fire for suspected links with the online publication are Thomas Zyambo and Clayson Hamasaka.
Reports say Pondamali, who is based in Kabwe was picked up by Zambia Police Service officers on Tuesday, 16 July 2013 on suspicion he was contributing articles to the Zambian Watchdog.
According to a statement on the Zambian Watchdog website, Pondamali was picked up by police on his way from Lusaka to Kabwe while his family home was raided around 05:00hrs (CAT) Tuesday. Reports indicate police were searching for yet-to-be-named ‘documents’.
The Zambia Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Zambia) attempted, in vain, to get a comment from the Zambian police’s public relations unit.
At this stage, it is not yet clear whether Pondamali has been formally charged with any crime.