|New Zealand journalist arrested|
|Friday, 20 April 2012 00:00|
Police have arrested a New Zealand journalist and a Zimbabwean woman at Beitbridge Border Post while illegally working on a story on irregular migration between Zimbabwe and South Africa. They were intercepted on Monday morning while taking pictures at the border post. Hammond Robin Nicholas (37) who stays in Cape Town in South Africa and Bertha Chiguvare (31) who is employed by Save the Children in Musina, South Africa had entered the country as visitors on holiday on Sunday morning.
Nicholas who claims to be a teacher and photographer is being charged for contravening Sections of the Protected Areas and Places and Immigration Acts. Chiguvare is facing charges of breaching a section of the Criminal Law Reform and Codification and the Protected Areas and Places Acts respectively. The duo is expected to appear in court today. Police officer commanding Beitbridge district Chief Superintendent Lawrence Chinhengo said police were still conducting investigations into the matter.
“Preliminary investigations reveal the Hammond Robin Nicholas who claims to be a teacher and photographer entered the country on Sunday morning in the company of Bertha Chiguvare who is employed by Save the Children in Musina South Africa.
“They misrepresented to the Department of Immigration that they were on holiday.
“In fact they were on a mission to investigate how illegal immigrants manage to cross into South Africa. After being cleared at the border post they spent the night in Beitbridge and on the following day they enlisted the services of a man who facilitates illegal migration popularly know as Guma Guma. They hired a taxi and went to Dulibadzimu Gorge along the Limpopo River intending to take videos and pictures of the illegal entry points. They however, came across police and soldiers who were on patrol in the area and sped off to the border post.”
He said the two continued taking videos and photos near the commercial area.
“The duo ran out of luck since our detectives were already on the look out for them after getting a tip off. They were arrested after taking photos of one of the travellers and we recovered equipment including video and digital cameras and a voice tracker.”
He said the camera had pictures of the border post and others taken from the South African side.
“The voice tracker had a recording of an interview of a young girl which had been done in South Africa. The girl is not Zimbabwean.”
He said Nicholas had also been arrested in Manicaland while on a similar mission. Chief Sup Chinhengo said police were eager to establish Nicholas’ real mission in Zimbabwe.