October 20, 2020

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Soldiers Harassed & Assaulted Journalists in Harare

Editorial

Harare- Two Harare based Journalists were harassed and assaulted yesterday by soldiers on their way home after work.
Leopold Munhende of the Newzimbabwe.com and Munashe Chokodza from 263chat were intercepted in Harare suburb of Warren Park between 6 and 7pm.

Post On Sunday spoke with Munhende after the assault and it was revealed that they were accused of being pompous and untouchableacting like journalists were special and untouchable, and thus being ordered to lie down on the ground and recieved serious beating.

The soldiers asked where we were coming from, and we both responded that we were coming as we produced our press cards as evidence we were journalists.

The soldiers started off by harassing us followed by assault before ordering us to run for our lives of face further assault.”

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting services, Nick Mangwana earlier told this publication that harassment of media practitioners was addressed in March 2020, after they were regarded as essential service providers.

“All our security departments were informed to recognise journalists working during the Covid-19 and lockdown period and that they should execute their duties freely without any challenges”.

Earlier, during parliament session yesterday, Members of Parliament raised the same questions in the August house and the Minister of defence, Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri, said members of the Zimbabwe National Army were the most disciplined, if there were any complains they were to be reported.

She however admitted that the mechanism of putting up complaints was not yet in place and the Minister of Justice Hon Ziyambi Ziyambi was working on it.

Members of Parliaments told Muchinguri that cases of harassment and gross human rights violation increased when soldiers were put in the streets, and as MPs they were still waiting for the President to come and explain on that very issue of unleashing soldiers into the streets.