Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Christopher Mushohwe yesterday came short of slamming the police, who allegedly shot and injured two journalists who were covering the violent demonstrations which rocked Harare last Friday.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Mushohwe said journalists were protected by law and should be allowed to execute their duty in safety, although he refused to blame the police for being trigger-happy.
“Of particular concern is the injury suffered by journalists caught up in the ensuing melee,” he said.
“The law protects journalists who should be allowed to pursue their vocation unhindered and without fear or risk of bodily harm or
Mushohwe said his ministry was liaising with the police to ensure that journalists enjoy maximum safety while going about their duties.
“The Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services continues to liaise with law enforcement agencies to ensure maximum safety of journalists on duty and, of course, to cultivate a healthy relationship between media personnel and law and order officers dealing with riotous situations that threaten peace,” he said.
The police have been heavy-handed beating up and arresting journalists on duty during demonstrations, mostly after being outfoxed by the demonstrators.
Daily News reporter Mugove Tafirenyika, who was discharged from hospital early yesterday, was allegedly shot at by the police in the head, as he covered the violent demonstrations.
His brother, Tawanda, told NewsDay that Mugove still had a bullet lodged in his neck which doctors have not removed because they fear any attempt to do so would cause damage to the spinal cord.
Mushohwe also slammed the protesters for resorting to violence as they tried to show their displeasure over government economic policies.
“While the law of the land allows public expression of dissent, the same law frowns at public violence and disturbance of peace and tranquillity in the country,” he said.