Journalist Gilbert Munetsi spent the night in police cells after he was arrested by police in Chitungwiza outside Harare on 7 August 2020 around 8 pm for allegedly violating the 6 am – 6 pm curfew imposed in terms of the COVID-19 regulations.
He was released this morning without any charges after MISA Zimbabwe deployed lawyer Tafadzwa Mugabe who attended to the matter and secured his release.
According to lawyer Mugabe, Munetsi was arrested when police rounded up people who were still outdoors beyond the prescribed time of 6 pm as provided for in terms of Statutory Instrument (SI) 174 of 2020.
The police did not give Munetsi an opportunity to explain or to even show them his accreditation card.
MISA Zimbabwe Position
MISA Zimbabwe urges the police to heed the fact that journalists are providers of essential services in terms of SI 83 of 2020 as amended by SI 93 of 2020 and SI 174 of 2020. As such, they should be allowed to undertake their professional duties without any unjustified interference.
MISA Zimbabwe also takes this opportunity to remind the media that our staff is on standby to assist media practitioners/journalists injured or arrested in the line of duty. The MISA Zimbabwe Hotline is 0784 437 338.
Source: MISA Zimbabwe