Journalists traumatized after attack: Anchor

HARARE - Freelance journalist Privilege Musvanhire who was beaten and lost a voice recorder and a cell phone when Zanu PF supporters ran amok at the disrupted MDC-T rally has described his experiences as traumatizing.

Musvanhire, a seasoned journalist, was one of many people who were beaten up in front of the police by rowdy Zanu PF supporters who were blocking people from entering the Glamis Stadium.

The police had banned the MDC-T rally and on Saturday Zanu PF supporters acted as the police as they blocked people who were going by their normal daily lives. “I am very traumatized by the beaten and the loss of my journalistic tools. I was fortunate though to recover my camera at the Zanu PF Provincial Headquaters after a policeman accompanied me. However, the experience is still harrowing,” said Musvanhire.

On Saturday people lost groceries and other important items as Zanu PF supporters looted, Musvanhire lost a 1200 Nokia cell phone and a Professional Voice Recorder valued at $300. “I felt sorry for the people as they were mobbed and their bags ransacked. It was worse because it was all done in front of the police who did nothing to stop the Zanu PF supporters,” he said.

Having written and heard about cases of violence in the country Masvanhire on Saturday was the recipient of the acts of terror and now he bears the scars physically and psychologically. His tormentors only released him after a journalist colleague with government controlled ZIANA Clarkson Mombe drew his Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) accreditation card.

While independent and freelance journalists in the country are harassed by political activists and in some instances by the police media practitioners from the state controlled media are treated as comrades by Zanu PF activists and the police.

Zimbabwe Union of Journalists Secretary General Foster Dongozi said that political activists in the country should respect journalists to practice their work without hindrance.

“The treatment of journalists in the country is worrying and we call upon political parties to give journalists respect. We also urge journalist to inform their colleagues about what they would be doing as part of security insurance,” said Dongozi.

Post published in: Politics

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