This statement was originally published on zimbabwe.misa.org on October 17, 2018.
Police in Masvingo on 17 October 2018 threatened Godfrey Mutimba a journalist who writes for The Worker, a print publication run by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.
According to Mutimba, the police were arresting illegal currency dealers operating around the vicinity of the main Post Office in the southern city of Masvingo. Trouble started when one of the police officers realised that Mutimba was recording the arrests on video.
The police officer accosted Mutimba on why he was filming the arrests. Mutimba produced his press accreditation card and explained he was carrying out his journalistic duties.
The same officer confiscated Mutimba’s press card and told the journalist that if he wanted his card he would have to go to Masvingo Central Police station where the police would verify Mutimba’s media credentials.
MISA Zimbabwe is currently assisting Mutimba to recover his press card.
MISA Zimbabwe Position MISA Zimbabwe condemns the confiscation of Mutimba’s press card. The police have no right to confiscate journalist’s press cards which are duly and constitutionally issued by the Zimbabwe Media Commission. Such actions amount to an abuse of office that should not be tolerated.
MISA Zimbabwe also reminds media practitioners to employ the profession’s safety and security measures while covering hostile situations. Media practitioners are advised to also utilise the MISA JournoSOS App as well as the MISA Panic Button App in the event of any violations. MISA Zimbabwe staff is also on standby to assist media practitioners injured or arrested in the line of duty. The MISA Hotline is 0784 437 338.