Lockdown: Misa-Zimbabwe urges ZMC intervention amid continued journalist harassment
By Staff Reporter
LOCAL media lobby, MISA-Zimbabwe has called on the Zimbabwe Media Commission to step in amid continued harassment on journalists covering the current 21-day national lockdown against the spread of coronavirus.
NewZimbabwe.com journalist Mary Taruvinga was on Friday stopped and harassed by police and army teams deployed to enforce the lockdown in Harare’s CBD.
The security details who confronted and told the scribe to go back home as she walked to work, were dismissive of her explanation she was allowed to work during a period in which citizens have been confirmed to their homes by authorities.
She was finally allowed to proceed to her workplace after the intervention of senior police officers.
Amid the continued harassment of journalists during the lockdown period, Misa-Zimbabwe urged ZMC to intervene.
“MISA Zimbabwe calls on the Zimbabwe Media Commission to conduct investigations and inquiries into these media freedom violations which also impact on the citizens’ right to access to information,” said the group.
READ THE FULL STATEMENT BELOW:
MISA Zimbabwe position
MISA Zimbabwe is concerned with the manner with which security personnel are treating journalists, particularly during this lockdown period. The several cases involving the harassment, arrest and assault of journalists that have been recorded are uncalled for and unjustified.
These actions directly contradict the statement by the Zimbabwe Republic Police on its Twitter account on 30 March 2020 in which the police pledged its commitment to promote cordial relations with media practitioners.
MISA Zimbabwe calls on the Zimbabwe Media Commission to conduct investigations and inquiries into these media freedom violations which also impact on the citizens’ right to access to information.
As highlighted in our recent statement, MISA Zimbabwe reiterates that the enemy we are fighting at this critical time is COVID-19 and not the media. The media should thus be allowed to conduct its professional duties without hindrance as provided for in the Constitution.