Police bash, detain AMH reporters

Plain-clothed police officers on Thursday afternoon brutally attacked three Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) journalists, Obey Manayiti, photojournalist, Shepherd Tozvireva and Abigail Matsikidze and driver, Raphael Phiri, accusing them of taking pictures in the Harare central business district.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Bizarrely, the police then said they were charging Manayiti and Tozvireva with assault.

The police have indicated that they are detaining Manayiti overnight, while Tozvireva was freed.

A plan-clothed police officer assaults Obey Manayiti
A plain-clothed police officer assaults Obey Manayiti

The officers jumped into an AMH vehicle and grabbed Phiri and the journalists before assaulting Manayiti with fists, leaving him sore and swollen.

Manayiti suffered a bruised lip and a swollen eye during the attack.

Tozvireva and Phiri where also roughed up in the chaos.

Lawyer, Kuzivakwashe Ngodza from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said Manayiti was still detained, while Tozvireva, Matsikidze and Phiri were released.

Manayiti and Tozvireva are accredited by the Zimbabwe Media Commission, but the police turned a blind eye to their accreditation before going on the rampage.

Media Institute of Southern Africa Zimbabwe (Misa) chairperson, Kumbirai Mafunda was quick to condemn the violence against the journalists, saying it was unacceptable.
“We know police pick up journalists and detain them, that in itself an attack on press freedom, but this time they have gone too far, attacking and assaulting journalists should be frowned upon,” he said.

Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe condemned the police’s actions.


“The heavy-handed and unlawful actions by the police pose great risk to the lives of journalists discharging their constitutionally protected responsibility of keeping the public informed,” the body said.

“The attack on the scribes is a direct attack on media freedoms and the right to inform.

“The VMCZ, strongly believes in an ethical, accountable and professional media and these three important tenets cannot be achieved if the media continue to operate under threat and constant fear of possible attacks by the police or any members of society.”

AMH are publishers of NewsDay, The Zimbabwe Independent, The Standard and Southern Eye.

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13 Comments

  1. Attacked for just taking pictures? Pliz don’t play with us. Tell us the truth not this rubbish.

    1. Who now the paper told you what is or what happened.Is it not that the news guys were attacked?

  2. Randall Flagg

    Human rights and press freedom are a serious issue that need to be addressed in this country. Democracy is a very sophisticated way of governing and unfortunately we are still a long way from that. Hope these brave journalists continue doing their invaluable work and refuse to be intimidated by a government that acts like it belongs in the middle ages.

  3. useless and uneducated thugs

  4. Psalms 109 vs 8-9

    our country full of dogs, they is no democracy in Zim, its a joke. Do we even observe the new constitution? Nyika yemahumbwe chaiyo, anwe ndiwo anongomuka wotochidya mitemo kkkkkk shame on us… Anwe ndoangoukura without doing anything.. Slave trade was better than this, living in the shadow lying to ourselves that we have democracy. What is there in Harare that taking a pic is wrong? do we have terror attacks? alshabab?? we dont so whats the threat for ?? Tsvina dzevanhu, shame on our leaders and the system, may their days be cut short.

  5. Ronald, do you want me to believe that they were attacked for merely ‘taking pictures in the central business district’.

  6. Looking at the picture it shows the jour no being roughly handled and it is gross abuse of human rights by institutions that are supposed to protect us. No one must be tortured even if a crime has been committed.

  7. @ ndugu. What do you imagine these JOURNALISTS did?

  8. what crime did they commit. We wont have any democracy until all these unnecessary arrests stop. up to now we do not know where Itai Dzamara is.

  9. Keep on reporting and dont give up. These are the dirty tactics used by the regime and its unprofessional police force.

  10. There’s definitely something that these reporters did. Denga rinoziva.

  11. Elections 2018

    Kunyepa mupurisa ndiye angaakabatwa naJournalist mupurisa aitoedza kupukunyuka – Maonero evamwe

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