BY TAPFUMANEI MUCHABAIWA
TWO Alpa Media Holdings (AMH) journalists were arrested yesterday while recording a documentary about water problems in Chitungwiza.
Blessed Mhlanga and Chengeto Chidi from Heart& Soul Broadcasting Services were detained in the morning and were held at the St Mary’s police station in Chitungwiza before they were moved to Harare Central police station late in the day.
Police had not laid any charges against them at the time of going to print.
Mhlanga and Chidi are being represented by lawyers from the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa-Zimbabwe) and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
AMH chairperson Trevor Ncube condemned their arrest.
“They were arrested while working on a documentary in Chitungwiza,” Ncube said.
“Arresting journalists for doing their work is what dictatorships do.”
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I have just spoken to Blessed @bbmhlanga . He and @ChidiChengeto are still in police detention in St Mary's. They have not yet been charged. They were arrested while working on a documentary in Chitungwiza. Arresting journalists for doing their work is what dictatorships do. pic.twitter.com/ycUSS4TZkg
— Trevor Ncube (@TrevorNcube) May 7, 2022
Citizens Coalition for Change interim spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said journalists must be allowed to carry out their duties freely,
“We reiterate that journalism is not a crime. The press should be free to carry out their duties without interference,” Mahere said.
🟡BREAKING Journalists @bbmhlanga & Chengeto Chidi have been arrested while in the course of covering the by-election in Chitungwiza. We reiterate that journalism is not a crime. The press should be free to carry out their duties without interference. #FreeThemNow pic.twitter.com/WuuXpBSw6k
— Fadzayi Mahere🇿🇼 (@advocatemahere) May 7, 2022
Jacob Ngarivhume, leader of Transform Zimbabwe said: “It’s crucial that we become more proactive in dealing with the issue of partisan policing.
“Someone is giving these orders. And we know the courts are too corrupt to check the unconstitutional actions once and for all.
“But we need to do something urgently.”