The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Media Bodies Condemn Attack On Journalists

Photo: The Herald
Members of the Apostolic church accused of beating police officers.

Journalists' representative bodies and human rights organisations condemned yesterday's attack on a ZBC employee by members of a Johanne Masowe eChishanu sect at a shrine in Budiriro, Harare. Violence erupted at the shrine when Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe president Bishop Johannes Ndanga visited the place to announce the banning of the sect over alleged human rights abuses.

Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation camera person Relax Mafu\zrutu sustained four fractures on both hands after being attacked with stones and knobkerries by members of the Ishmael Mufani-led sect. He was taken to Harare Central Hospital before being transferred to West End Clinic last night. Other journalists took refuge at Budiriro 2 Police Station.

Several police officers and ACCZ provincial chairperson Lameck Chitope were injured in the skirmishes and were also receiving treatment at Harare Central Hospital. Mafurutu had difficulties narrating his ordeal as he was in great pain when The Herald visited him at Harare Central Hospital.

"I could not defend myself as more than six people were all over me with knobkerries and stones," he said. "They did not give me the chance to explain who I was and I regained consciousness after some time, to realise that I was badly hurt."

Zimbabwe Union of Journalists president Michael Chideme said appropriate action should be taken against sect members.

"That is why we have always wanted the safety of journalists to be guaranteed in the Constitution," he said. "We urge the law enforcement agents to take appropriate action against those sect members who attacked innocent people.

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Members of the Apostolic church accused of beating police officers.

Members of the Johanne Masowe eChishanu Apostolic Church accused of assaulting police officers have been denied bail. Read more »