Journalists detained by soldiers

Journalists detained by soldiers

Two journalists were on 24 November 2020 detained by soldiers from the Airforce of Zimbabwe in Gweru for about four hours.

Elizabeth Mashiri the Assistant Editor for The Masvingo Mirror and Patrick Chitumba the Bureau Chief of Midlands province for The Chronicle, were detained after they were found by members of the soldiers taking pictures at an accident site where an Airforce aeroplane is reported to have crashed.

When MISA-Zimbabwe communicated with the duo upon their release from captivity, they highlighted that they were made to do toyi-toyi; their phones were confiscated and forced to delete the pictures from the scene of the accident as well as other phone contacts.

MISA-Zimbabwe position

MISA-Zimbabwe urges the security forces in Zimbabwe and all other stakeholders to respect media freedom as envisaged in Section 61 of the Constitution which provides the right to seek, receive and impart information.

In the event where security forces, stakeholders and the broader public feel aggrieved by the media, MISA-Zimbabwe urges stakeholders to not take the law into their own hands but instead use lawful and professional mechanisms to address such circumstances.

Such professional steps include utilising the Zimbabwe Media Commission as the constitutional body set up in terms of Section 249 of the Constitution to receive and consider complaints on the conduct of the media and to take professional action in the event of any breach of law or code of conduct and the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe.

About MISA Zimbabwe

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.