Police in Zimbabwe’s Midlands town of Kwekwe has assured journalists of their safety and security while conducting their lawful professional duties.
This followed a meeting on 8 January 2021 between MISA Zimbabwe Kwekwe Advocacy Committee chairperson Kudakwashe Zvarayi, and the Officer Commanding Kwekwe District, Chief Superintendent Maingire.
Zvarayi said the police assured him that journalists would not be harassed over the use of the expired Zimbabwe Media Commission-issued press cards. Chief Superintendent Maingire reportedly said he would communicate this message to all the police details in the district.
The Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) is still to issue the 2021 accreditation cards for journalists while awaiting the gazetting of the accreditation fees for this year.
In a recent statement, the ZMC said it was aware of the “challenges and concerns” of journalists going about their duties without being duly accredited for this year, and during the current COVID-19 national lockdown.
In that regard, the ZMC said, law enforcement officers and other stakeholders are expected to accept accreditation cards for the years 2019 and 2020.
“The Commission calls upon all stakeholders and security forces manning checkpoints to assist journalists and other media practitioners to carry out their duties without harm or harassment.
“The role of the media in the fight against COVID-19 cannot be overemphasised and the Commission calls upon the media to diligently fulfil its duty by “not leaving anyone and any place behind”, said the ZMC.
Meanwhile, Zvarayi said the police had, however, implored journalists to be objective when covering “election matters” in the town saying some newspapers were posting ‘incorrect stories” online.