MISA Zimbabwe’s Mutare Advocacy Committee represented by chairperson Kenneth Matimaire recently held a meeting with police in the eastern border town of Mutare during which they discussed the safety of journalists during the current COVID-19 national lockdown.
The police represented by Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Luxson Chananda, assured Matimaire of the police’s support in ensuring that journalists conduct their work without hindrance.
Inspector Chananda said a memo had been dispatched to that effect urging police officers to refrain from arresting journalists and allow them free passage to conduct their journalistic work.
Accordingly, police officers had also been informed of the validity of the 2019 and 2020 Zimbabwe Media Commission-issued accreditation cards.
Although the accreditation fees for this year have recently since been gazetted, the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) is still to commence issuance of the 2021 accreditation cards for journalists.
In an earlier statement, the ZMC said it was aware of the “challenges and concerns” of journalists going about their duties without being duly accredited for this year and during the current COVID-19 national lockdown.
In that regard, the ZMC said, law enforcement officers and other stakeholders are expected to accept accreditation cards for the years 2019 and 2020.
Meanwhile, similar assurances were made by police in Kwekwe following a meeting on 8 January 2021 between MISA Zimbabwe Kwekwe Advocacy Committee chairperson Kudakwashe Zvarayi, and the Officer Commanding Kwekwe District, Chief Superintendent Maingire.