ZRP returns journalists’ camera after ZLHR’s intervention

ZIMBABWE Republic Police (ZRP) officers have surrendered a camera which they had confiscated from some journalists while they were covering a protest in Harare in December.

File pic

ZRP officers unlawfully seized a Canon 1300 D camera belonging to two journalists Hebert Sithole and
Panashe Mukuta, who work for The Mail & Telegraph, an online news agency on 11 December 2018
outside Harare Central Police Station, where the media practitioners were assaulted in full view of the
public while covering a protest by some disgruntled MDC party supporters.

The journalists were accosted by some ZRP members, who instructed them to stop covering the protest
despite having produced their media accreditation cards, before the law enforcement agents forcefully
grabbed their camera and smashed it against the gate at Harare Central Police Station.

This prompted the journalists to engage Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, whose lawyer Kudzayi
Kadzere filed an urgent chamber application in the High Court seeking the return of the camera as ZRP
officers had no right to confiscate the media practitioners’ camera.

On Monday 24 December 2018, High Court Judge Justice Nyaradzo Munangati-Manongwa ordered ZRP
officers to surrender the camera to the journalists after declaring the law enforcement agents’ conduct as
unlawful.

In compliance with the court order, ZRP officers promptly surrendered the camera to the media
practitioners on Monday 24 December 2018.

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