27 July 2017

Zimbabwe: Police Bash, Detain AMH Reporters

Photo: New Zimbabwe
Police officers (file photo).

Plain-clothed police officers on Thursday afternoon brutally attacked three Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) journalists, Obey Manayiti, photojournalist, Shepherd Tozvireva and Abigail Matsikidze and driver, Raphael Phiri, accusing them of taking pictures in the Harare central business district.

Bizarrely, the police then said they were charging Manayiti and Tozvireva with assault.

The police have indicated that they are detaining Manayiti overnight, while Tozvireva was freed.

A plan-clothed police officer assaults Obey Manayiti

The officers jumped into an AMH vehicle and grabbed Phiri and the journalists before assaulting Manayiti with fists, leaving him sore and swollen.

Manayiti suffered a bruised lip and a swollen eye during the attack.

Tozvireva and Phiri where also roughed up in the chaos.

Lawyer, Kuzivakwashe Ngodza from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said Manayiti was still detained, while Tozvireva, Matsikidze and Phiri were released.

Manayiti and Tozvireva are accredited by the Zimbabwe Media Commission, but the police turned a blind eye to their accreditation before going on the rampage.

Manayiti suffered a bruised lip and a swollen eye during the attack. Bizarrely, the police then said they were charging Manayiti and Tozvireva with assault.

Media Institute of Southern Africa Zimbabwe (Misa) chairperson, Kumbirai Mafunda was quick to condemn the violence against the journalists, saying it was unacceptable.

"We know police pick up journalists and detain them, that in itself an attack on press freedom, but this time they have gone too far, attacking and assaulting journalists should be frowned upon," he said.

Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe condemned the police's actions.

"The heavy-handed and unlawful actions by the police pose great risk to the lives of journalists discharging their constitutionally protected responsibility of keeping the public informed," the body said.

"The attack on the scribes is a direct attack on media freedoms and the right to inform.

"The VMCZ, strongly believes in an ethical, accountable and professional media and these three important tenets cannot be achieved if the media continue to operate under threat and constant fear of possible attacks by the police or any members of society."

AMH are publishers of NewsDay, The Zimbabwe Independent, The Standard and Southern Eye.

Zimbabwe

Don't Deify Me, Says President

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has deplored the singing of songs that idolise him, saying he preferred that people sing… Read more »

Copyright © 2017 Zimbabwe Independent. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.