Two H-Metro journalists, Munyaradzi Doma and a photographer only identified as Tawanda, were Sunday assaulted by church youths after taking photographs of an incident where a reverend of the church was beaten up by one of his church members who accused him of destroying his home.
The church service was stopped for almost an hour as elders rushed to protect the pastor and restrain the youths from assaulting the journalists.
The incident occurred at around 11:30am at Mbare Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), where there was a welcoming ceremony for the pastor who had been assigned to minister for that congregation.
The assailant, Phineas Chanza, is said to have sat in the church patiently waiting for the appropriate moment to attack the pastor.
He then suddenly charged at the pastor, grabbed him by the collar and punched him as the congregation watched in amazement, sources said.
Officers from Matapi Police Station had to be called in to save the situation and Chanza was arrested and whisked away to the police station as the situation calmed.
The H-Metro reporters were escorted to their vehicle by the church elders as the church youths bayed for their blood.
When NewsDay visited the scene after receiving the report, Chanza, who had then been subdued by CCAP elders and some baffled church members, could be seen wandering about the church premises after the service had resumed.
The victim, Reverend Joseph Charles Juma, said he did not know why he was attacked during the church service but attributed it to the works of the devil.
“I want the truth to come out. I do not know why he (Chanza) attacked me. God knows the truth. I do not know why these people are doing this to me,” Juma said.
Zimbabwe Union of Journalists secretary-general Foster Dongozi condemned the attack on journalists.
“We condemn attacks on journalists be they at church or political meetings. The journalists were pursuing their professional duties.
“The fact that there can be commotion at a church is newsworthy.
“Just last week some journalists were attacked during a Copac meeting by some youths in Mbare and we condemn the attack,” Dongozi said.