Their arrest comes barely two days after police in Harare summoned and questioned the editor of NewsDay Wisdom Mdzungairi and reporter Everson Mushava. This followed the newspaper’s publication of a story arising from a press conference held in February this year by former Zanu PF Mashonaland Central youth leader Godfrey Tsenengamu.
MISA Zimbabwe position
The police have no right to hinder the lawful work of journalists and their right to media freedom as provided for under Section 61 of the Constitution.
These wanton and unlawful arrests of journalists is a serious breach of their constitutionally protected rights and totally unacceptable in a constitutional democracy. Journalism is not a crime and journalists should not be treated as criminal nuisances by the police.
In fact, it is the responsibility of the police to ensure the safety and security of journalists conducting their lawful responsibilities of gathering news and disseminating information in the public interest.
MISA Zimbabwe urges the Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri to investigate and stop these unlawful actions which only serve to tarnish the image of the force and of the country in general.