Zimbabwe Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services has pleaded with police not to harass journalists as they carry out their duties in a professional manner during lockdown.
In a statement, Committee Chairperson Hon Sipho Mokone said as a committee we plead with Zimbabwe Republic Police not to harass journalists as they carry out their duties in a professional manner.
“It is paramount that the journalists and the police work in unison and harmony in order to save lives in our beloved country of Zimbabwe” added Mokone.
“We articulate this stance under the backdrop of the High Court judgement issued last year. This is when the High Court issued a relief order in 20 April 2020 interdicting the police from harassing and arresting journalists reporting during last year’s lockdown” read the statement.
Over five journalists were arrested and others harassed while covering the lockdown that went into effect on 30 March 2020.
Mokone further explained that Covid 19 is real and as the media fraternity we have lost some of our beloved journalists due to it. The media therefore remains one of the key mediums to transmit literature pertaining this pandemic.
MISA Zimbabwe National Chairperson Golden Maunganidze in a letter dated 4 January 2021 addressed to the Commissioner General of Police MR. Godwin Matanga said MISA is hereby reaching out to your esteemed office to ensure the safety and security of journalists who in terms of regulations are providers of essential services.
“Our appeal and concern on the safety and security of journalists is informed by the media freedom violations that ensued when the country implemented the first national lockdown measures in march 2020” added Maunganidze.