ZIMBABWE Republic Police (ZRP) officers have surrendered a camera which they had confiscated from some journalists while they were covering a protest in Harare in December.
ZRP officers unlawfully seized a Canon 1300 D camera belonging to two journalists Hebert Sithole and Panashe Mukuta, who work for The Mail & Telegraph, an online news agency on 11 December 2018 outside Harare Central Police Station, where the media practitioners were assaulted in full view of the public while covering a protest by some disgruntled MDC party supporters.
The journalists were accosted by some ZRP members, who instructed them to stop covering the protest despite having produced their media accreditation cards, before the law enforcement agents forcefully grabbed their camera and smashed it against the gate at Harare Central Police Station.
This prompted the journalists to engage Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, whose lawyer Kudzayi Kadzere filed an urgent chamber application in the High Court seeking the return of the camera as ZRP officers had no right to confiscate the media practitioners’ camera.
On Monday 24 December 2018, High Court Judge Justice Nyaradzo Munangati-Manongwa ordered ZRP officers to surrender the camera to the journalists after declaring the law enforcement agents’ conduct as unlawful.
In compliance with the court order, ZRP officers promptly surrendered the camera to the media practitioners on Monday 24 December 2018.
Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights