Southern Africa: Journalists Assaulted At Press Conference

press release

Several journalists who attended a press conference by Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) President Takudzwa Ngadziore today, Friday the 18th of September 2020 were assaulted by unidentified men who violently disrupted the presser. The conference was held next to the Impala Car Rentals offices in Harare.

The student union body held the media briefing following the arrest and release on bail of its president after he allegedly led protests demanding answers from Impala on the alleged role it played in the abduction of journalism student Tawanda Muchehiwa, the nephew to ZimLive Editor Mduduzi Mathuthu.

Some of the journalists who were assaulted include freelance journalist James Jemwa, senior journalist Godwin Mangudya and Thomas Madhuku of 263Chat. Jemwa sustained injuries on his forehead and wrist. Both his camera and mobile phone where confiscated by these assailants. Mangudya's recorder was also damaged by these attackers.

Upon receipt of the alert, MISA-Zimbabwe deployed, legal practitioner Chris Mhike of Atherstone and Cook to assist in the matter and further developments will be communicated.

MISA Zimbabwe Position

MISA Zimbabwe condemns these acts of barbarism by forces that are bent on undermining the constitution of the country. The practice of journalism is provided for and guaranteed under section 61 of the constitution. If any person, grouping, organised or otherwise have grievances with the media, they are free to approach the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe or the Zimbabwe Media Commission for that matter, rather than taking the law into their own hands. MISA Zimbabwe calls upon the Zimbabwe Republic Police to investigate and bring the culprits to book. The police must send a strong message against criminals that believe that they can attack journalists with impunity.

Media practitioners are advised to also utilize the MISA JournoSOS App as well as the MISA Panic Button App in the event of any violations.

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