Journalist Gilbert Munetsi was on 4 September 2021 arrested and detained overnight at St Mary’s Police Station in Chitungwiza on allegations of violating the COVID-19 curfew measures.
MISA Zimbabwe deployed a lawyer, Mr Hamunakwadi, to attend to the matter leading to the release of Munetsi into the lawyer’s custody on 5 September 2021.
Munetsi was asked to appear at the police station on 6 September 2021 for purposes of recording his warned and cautioned statement. He is denying the allegations on the grounds that he was coming from work at the time of his arrest.
MISA Zimbabwe position
- MISA Zimbabwe wishes to remind the Zimbabwe Republic Police and other officers enforcing the COVID-19 lockdown regulations, that journalists were declared as essential services workers and should therefore not be unjustifiably arrested, detained or hindered while conducting their lawful professional duties.
- The government through the responsible ministries, which include the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services and the Ministry of Home Affairs, should address these developments which pose the risk of denting the country’s respect for journalistic rights.
Source: MISA Zimbabwe