Journalists wary of increased cases of violence

0
511

Media practitioners and opposition parties have warned of an upsurge in violence and more attacks against journalists ahead of the 2018 elections.

BY MOSES MATENGA

Opposition parties said Zanu PF was running scared because of internal squabbles that are making the ruling party more vulnerable.

Zanu PF and MDC-T have been at the centre of violent clashes in the past few days, as the two major parties in the country fight for political turf.

Journalists have also not been spared, as they have been threatened by senior Zanu PF and government officials, including President Robert Mugabe, First Lady Grace and Presidential spokesperson, George Charamba among others.

Heal Zimbabwe Trust warned of gloom ahead of 2018 saying: “The situation reflects a gloomy picture of what to expect during the impending 2018 election period.” Addressing stakeholders at Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ) organised commemorations to mark the international day to end impunity on crimes against journalists at the Quill Club on Wednesday, the organisation’s programmes manager, Nigel Nyamutumbu, said the threats by the ruling elite were a concern to media players.

NjabuloNcube

Zimbabwe National Editors’ Forum chairperson, Njabulo Ncube, said attacks against journalists were likely to worsen as 2018 beckoned.

“Is this impunity going to end? As editors, we don’t think so, as we go towards the 2018 elections. We need to be at the top of our game,” he said.

MAZ director, Patience Zirima, said the media should unite and advocate for the rights of the profession, saying the abuse of journalists by politicians and other powerful people should stop.

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said: “Overall, the ZRP is a very disciplined and professional police force. However, there are a few rogue elements within the police force, who unashamedly conduct themselves as an armed militia of the Zanu PF regime.”

MDC spokesperson, Kurauone Chihwayi, said the ruling party was now desperate and had resorted to violence.

“The people of Zimbabwe will not be cowed into silence. Mugabe should brace for an embarrassing and degrading loss in 2018,” Chihwayi said.

Progressive Democrats of Zimbabwe spokesperson, Jacob Mafume, said Zanu PF supporters fear the opposition might take advantage “has fallen back to their ways”.

“As you will recall very few people have been prosecuted for past violence and this has resulted in impunity. It is, therefore, not a surprise that violence for Zanu PF is an elevated form of dispute resolution. If this can happen in a non-election year then God help us when elections are due,” he said.