Press freedom violations increase in Zimbabwe
By Wallace Mawire
The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists, ZUJ, has expressed that it would like to register its outrage at the increasing number of press freedom violations and threats to the safety and security of journalists in Zimbabwe.
ZUJ says that during the just ended week, it witnessed an alarming number of cases in which journalists were physically beaten or prevented from conducting their lawful work by members of different security forces.
On Sunday, 17 November, a journalist with The Mirror in Masvingo, Nkulumani Mlambo was ejected from a public event officiated by Masvingo Minister of State Ezra Chadzamira.
The event was attended by Italian investors who wanted to make an assessment of investment opportunities in Chiredzi.
Mlambo told ZUJ that state security officers threatened to forcefully eject him from the event as their superiors had instructed them to remove him from the event, forcing him to depart in fear.
He said the harassment had left him traumatised as it had affected his ability to do his work as a result of the threats.
On Wednesday 20 November, three journalists were violently assaulted by members of the police while covering a gathering of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party, MDC, in central Harare.
Among those who were assaulted were Ranganai Zimunya of Community Radio Harare, CORAH.
The other victims of the state sponsored brutality are Daniel Chigundu and an intern, Loreen Tadzingwa who work for an online publication, OpenParly.
ZUJ Secretary Foster Dongozi said the continued harassment of journalists by members of the security forces was totally unacceptable.
“There is carnage out there. Acts of harassment, intimidation, aggression and brutality continue to be unleashed on defenceless and innocent journalists in Zimbabwe.
“The epidemic of intolerance and violence has to stop and we are calling on the Zimbabwean government to protect its citizens who work as journalists,” said Dongozi.