Zimbabwe: Uproar Over Latest Attack On Media, As Military, Moneybag Chivhayo Seek to Bar Investigations

22 February 2024

Journalists have come out in defence of their colleagues who are under attack from the military and controversial moneybag Wicknell Chivhayo over two articles they have been investigating.

NewsHawks News Editor Owen Gagare is reportedly under constant surveillance by Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) operatives, some of whom have openly threatened him following the release of an explosive report on corruption that involves three top generals.

Chivhayo on the other hand stands accused of threatening 'to deal' with a junior reporter at Sources Media who had sought a comment from him regarding his flashy fleet of vehicles.

He had been asked questions regarding his continued dishing out of top-of-the-range vehicles to pro-Zanu PF artists.

Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) described the two incidences as direct attacks on the profession.

"ZUJ unequivocally expresses complete displeasure at such criminal acts meant to cow and gag journalists and the media from freely executing their role of informing the nation and holding authority to account," read its statement.

"We find Chivhayo's threats and attacks on the young journalist and those from the military on Gagare appalling, uncalled for, and unacceptable."

NewsHawks has since announced it has suspended all investigations into the military.

Maraire reported Chivhayo's threats to the police who have confirmed receipt of her report and are handling it at the national headquarters level.

"Sad day for Zimbabwean journalism as NewsHawks is forced off investigating a case involving senior military officers.

"Intimidation tactics used to silence journalists are not only unethical but also raise serious questions about the transparency and accountability of those involved," said Young Journalists Association (YOJA) spokesperson Lovejoy Mutongwiza.

"We also call on the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and related state security agencies to ensure the safety of Maraire," he added about the young journalist's case.

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