Police arrest journo for busting them

POLICE in Chiredzi arrested freelance photojournalist, Dumisani Zvandasara for allegedly taking pictures of them transacting private business at a roadblock.



Zvandasara, who is accredited by the Zimbabwe Media Commission, was forced to delete the pictures of three policeman caught on camera buying legal aid insurance from a Golden Knot salesperson at a roadblock.

A Constable M Matshiya then charged Zvandasara with contravening Section 46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act and listed the offence as taking a picture at a police checkpoint.

“Charged with contravening Section 46 as read with subsection 2(4) of the Third Schedule Chapter 9:23, accused was taking photos at a police spot check,” part of the charge sheet reads.

The police spot check was at GMB turnoff last week Wednesday when, Zvandasara, who was travelling to Chiredzi, saw the police officers transacting private business at the spot, while they had abandoned motorists, whom they had stopped.

“The saleslady from Golden Knot Legal Aid came out of her car and, right in the middle of the road, started issuing receipts to the police officers. I saw a picture opportunity to tell a national story about abuse of office and I was arrested,” Zvandasara said.

Golden Knot group chief operating officer, Sifiso Mahlangu criticised the unnamed saleslady, saying such levels of aggressive marketing were not supported by company policy.

“We encourage the salespeople to make appointments and then visit clients in safe areas and not at a roadblock,” he said.

Police officers forced Zvandasara to pay a fine and to delete his pictures or face a night in custody after holding him for nearly four hours.

His lawyer, Ross Chavi, said he encouraged Zvandasara to pay the $20 fine to avoid sleeping in police cells, but he had since challenged the admission of guilt fine.

“We are talking of an accredited journalist doing his job of exposing what appears to be corrupt tendencies and people who appear to be on the wrong,” he explained.

“Zvandasara was accused of being a nuisance, but we are sure he did not commit any crime. So we have written to the court demanding our day before real justice.”

Zvandasara said: “I paid the fine just to avoid sleeping in the cells and agreed to delete the pictures, which I, however, later recovered from my cloud (storage software).”

Media Institute of Southern Africa-Zimbabwe chapter had to dispatch a lawyer to assist the photojournalist after it appeared he was going to spend the night in cells.

National police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Charity Charamba said she was yet to see the pictures of the incident.

11 Responses to Police arrest journo for busting them

  1. Nesongano March 12, 2016 at 11:36 am #

    Foolish police officers, what makes them believe if images are deleted they never be recovered? Hezvo mutori wemifananidzo ainge atopfekera mapictures ake mugore!!! Pictures were already stored in the cloud.

    • Loud Speaker March 12, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

      How technology changes with the times ja! Time was when the police would rip the camera off you and pull out the film to expose and ruin the contets! Not so these days! *laughs!*

  2. Tafanana Zhou March 12, 2016 at 11:55 am #

    Is this not the same section of the law that was used to arrest legislator James Maridadi at Beitbridge when he recorded a Zimra official soliciting a bribe of usd 500.

  3. Rihanna March 12, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

    NON STORY, thought he had caught them taking bribes

    • Bonjisi March 13, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

      uriwo mbavhasu?

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  5. Loud Speaker March 12, 2016 at 1:37 pm #

    A word of advice to anyone thinking of gathering photographic or video evidence…..Do so discreetly!
    People don’t take too kindly being photographed or videoed without their specific say so and rightly so.

  6. oda March 12, 2016 at 7:14 pm #

    Golden knot ndakutoidawo legal aid iyi.

  7. Sjiri March 13, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

    Zim police always abuses its arresting and detaining powers.

  8. SO WHAT March 14, 2016 at 1:21 pm #

    These guys did nothing wrong. They work from the roads not offices. They are also entitled to get insurance. Sparing a minute or two by the road side is not an offence. Majaira kungoti zrp iri corrupt. Right here they are doing legitimate transaction. These guys leave the office around 7am and only come back after 4pm, that roadside is his office. And taking someone’s photo without their consent is an offence.

  9. STUPID JOURNO March 14, 2016 at 1:30 pm #

    Freelance journalist works on commission and stupid Zvandasara is forced to take any picture with zrp officers coz newsday buys them. He made some money but kkk inenge yakapfuurira ku ticket. Dai makatomuvharira for the stipulated 48 hours.

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