Four journalists were reportedly severely assaulted when violence erupted ahead of a rally that was scheduled to be addressed by Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa in Gokwe in Zimbabwe’s Midlands Province.
One of the journalists, Toneo Rutsito, tweeted:
“We have been attacked, heavily assaulted for taking pictures and videos of around 20 Zanu PF vehicles which had blocked chitekete business shops, 90km from Gokwe.”
The other journalists have been named as Tongai Mwenje, Pellagia Mpurwa and Chelsea Mashayamombe.
MISA Zimbabwe position
These wanton and violent assaults of journalists conducting their lawful professional duties are now of very serious concern as they pose serious risks to their safety and security.
This cannot be allowed to continue with impunity and without the perpetrators being brought to book.
We therefore implore the police and other relevant authorities, including the Zimbabwe Media Commission, to thoroughly investigate these serious crimes against journalists.
This will go a long way in demonstrating the government’s commitment to the safety and security of journalists and their right to media freedom as provided for by the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
We also urge journalists to exercise extreme caution when covering potentially explosive situations as provided for in the profession’s safety and security guidelines and measures.
Source: MISA Zimbabwe