Wednesday, September 22, 2021
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Arrests and harassment of journalists by Masvingo police worrisome

Officer Commanding Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Masvingo province(Propol), Ass Com Taoneyi Nyazema


TellZim Reporter

Cases
of journalists arrested and harassed while on duty during this lockdown are on
the increase in the country with Masvingo province leading with three cases so
far.
Police
in Masvingo have so far arrested two journalists, Matthew Takaona of The Mirror
and TellZim News’ Beatific Gumbwanda in separate incidents. They have since
been released with no charges leveled against them. They also arrested four
newspaper vendors and held them for several hours before releasing them without
charge.
Takaona
was detained by police officers manning a roadblock near Mucheke River bridge
on his way to The Mirror offices in town, while Gumbwanda was arrested in
Chiredzi on the instigation of an overzealous CIO officer.
Media
Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Masvingo chairperson Passmore Kuzipa has
condemned the continued arrest and harassment of journalists on duty.
“The
arrest and harassment of journalists in Masvingo province is worrisome.  I understand that both the police and the
journalists are providing essential services during this lockdown, and since we
all fighting to reduce the spread of Covid-19, I don’t see the reason why the
police would want to feel more important than all other stakeholders who are
providing essential services during this lockdown.”
“I
want to urge the police starting from the Officer Commanding Masvingo Province
to the least rank of Constable to respect journalists and allow them to do
their work freely.  Journalism is not a
crime. I also want to urge my fellow colleagues to also respect the police
officers on duty and produce their press cards for easy identification,” said
Kuzipa.
Kuzipa
said he hope the situation or the relationship between the police and
journalists in the province will improve after the engagements he had with the
police this week.
“I
have managed to engage the officer commanding Masvingo district, the Officer
In-Charge (Crime) and Masvingo Provincial Police Spokesperson over these
unnecessary arrests and detention. I am sure that journalists in the province
will be allowed to do their work without hindrances; in fact I hope to see the
police arresting those who want to disturb journalists from doing their work,”
said Kuzipa.

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TellZim News is the leading news organization in the Southern region. It provides candid, balanced and timely news from the communities. Keeping it real. Committed to tell Zimbabwe.

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