Zuj condemns harassment of journalists

Zuj said it had engaged police to investigate threats directed at Maraire

The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (Zuj) has condemned a recent wave of harassment, cyber attacks, and intimidation of journalists by State and non-State actors, describing it as an existential threat to the media profession.

In a statement Tuesday, Zuj said it was concerned with the recent social media attacks directed at Sources Media journalist Rutendo Maraire following the publication of stories on controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo's vehicle donations. During the same period, Owen Gagare of News Hawks also received threats from the military after publishing a story exposing corrupt top commanders.

"Zuj unequivocally expresses complete displeasure at such criminal acts meant to cow and gag journalists and the media from freely executing their role of informing the nation and holding authority to account.

"We find Mr Chivhayo's threats and attacks on the young journalist and those allegedly from the military on NewsHawks editor appalling, uncalled for, and unacceptable. 

"Zuj reminds Mr Chivhayo that the country's laws allow journalists to report on any issue accurately and with balance, and when reached for a comment it is because journalists are alive to the ethics that direct their conduct. 

"Zuj is convicted that acts of intimidation and threats of violence on journalists are in direct contradiction with the pronouncements and posture by the President of the Republic Emmerson Mnangagwa and the stance seemingly taken by the second republic on media reform and ensuring the enjoyment of media freedoms and access to information as guaranteed by the constitution of the country," the statement read.

Zuj said it had engaged police to investigate threats directed at Maraire

" We shall keep on engaging the police in pursuing the matter and other stakeholders to ensure the safety and security of our journalists," the union said.


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