An incognito person has allegedly slipped into one of the country’s leading investigative online publication, The NewsHawks newsroom in Harare and stole the News Editor Owen Gagare’s laptop during lunch hour.

The NewsHawks managing editor Dumisani Muleya said the disturbing situation that has left the newsroom worried and wondering is what could be the agenda of the thief, who is behind it and what are they up to?

He said this is a second break in, after another which happened recently when The NewsHawks senior investigative reporter Bridget Mananavire’s laptop was stolen from the newsroom.

Muleya however, said security elements can not be ruled out of these break-ins, targeting information from senior investigative journalists’ laptops.

“It has the hallmark and footprints of rogue and desperate security elements on the prowl,” he said adding that there has also been an attempt to break into Gagare’s email, as shown by Goggle alerts.

He added that it is clear that those behind the break-in could be after trying to derail the publication’s investigative work, information and projects.

“No prizes for guessing that this is meant to access our investigative information, intimidate us and instill fear to reporters, while also trying to destabilise our investigative journalism project, which is gaining serious traction; ruffling feathers in the corridors of power,” he said.

Muleya went on to say that the break-in was a well planned thing.

“It’s pretty clear this was planned and executed with precision. Why would an ordinary thief come in at that time, walk around, only then to swoop on Owen’s laptop, leaving the others nearer to the entrance? This is an operation by sinister forces with a nefarious agenda,” he said.

He added that the bad news for the forces of darkness is that the publication will not stop exposing leadership, governance and policy failures of those in power, as well as investigating corruption of those holding power in its various forms accountable.

Muleya said the good news is that his team is not intimidated by cowardly intrusions meant to intimidate them.