This statement was originally published on zimbabwe.misa.org on December 20, 2017.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police and representatives of media organisations led by MISA Zimbabwe Trustee Cris Chinaka on 20 December 2017 met in Harare and agreed on a raft of actions to secure a safe and conducive working environment for journalists.
The police delegation was led by Police Spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba.
In attendance during the meeting brokered by MISA Zimbabwe as a follow –up to the one held in September 2016, was Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ), Secretary General Foster Dongozi, Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ), Co-ordinator Nigel Nyamutumbu, MISA Zimbabwe Programmes Co-ordinator Nyasha Nyakunu and freelance journalist, Godwin Mangudya.
The proposed resolutions and action plans are also aimed at improving the professional working relationship between the media and the police through agreed work plans and timeframes for ease of monitoring of progress.
Senior Assistant Commissioner Charamba , said on their part, the police would be guided by the resolutions of the meeting towards ensuring pledges committed to come to fruition. She said the meeting marks a “new note” in shaping professional relations and the way forward between the two parties.
She said the new era as stated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, would see a change of approach in the way the police conducts its business right down to the last person on the ground.
Chinaka stressed the need for continued dialogue to improve relations and ensuring the media also appreciates and understands the role of the police in a modern state. “We do pledge to continue working with you and finding solutions in areas where there are difficulties,” he said.
The September 2016 meeting came on the backdrop of assaults of journalists during the course of their duties, confiscation of cameras and deletion of video clips by the police thereby souring relations between the two parties.
It was also noted then, that journalists should be professional in their conduct and report the good work of the police as opposed to writing negative things only.
Click below to access the Resolutions of the 20 December 2017 meeting: