Chitungwiza municipal police attack journalists

Two freelance journalists, Phillimon Jambaya and Edgar Gweshe, were yesterday beaten up by members of the Chitungwiza municipal police as they were covering a demonstration led by the Chitungwiza Residents Trust (CHITREST).

The journalists alleged that they were beaten up by the municipal police at the Chitungwiza Municipal offices as they tried to block them from taking photographs of approximately 60 residents who had gathered to demonstrate against lack information relating to full council meetings.

Jambaya allegedly sustained injuries during the assault and is currently being attended to at a local Chitungwiza hospital.

Residents had previously been denied access to attend to full council meetings held on 5 February and 31 March 2015.

MISA-Zimbabwe position

MISA-Zimbabwe condemns this attack on journalists and their right to media freedom. The attack comes barely a week after the country joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Press Freedom Day whose theme this year stressed on the need to ensure safety and security of journalists.

MISA-Zimbabwe urges authorities and law enforcement agents to respect the role and profession of journalists and to put in place measures that promote the enjoyment of the right to freedom of the press which is guaranteed under section 61 of the constitution.

Further, MISA –Zimbabwe reiterates that citizens have a right to access information, including information relating to local governance issues, as a way of promoting accountability of local authorities. The right to access information is guaranteed in Section 62 of Zimbabwe’s constitution.

Post published in: Human Rights

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