Two journalists who were arrested on Friday for going into Parktown Hospital in Waterfalls to interview three abducted MDC-Alliance members being treated there, will spend the entire weekend behind bars after their case was postponed to next Tuesday for bail determination.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government continues to score spectacular own goals with the latest being the arrest of Frank Chikowore (39) and Samuel Takawira (29). Chikowore works for Voice of America’s Studio 7 while Takawira works for online website, 263Chat.
The two appeared before Mbare magistrate, Musiiwa facing a count of “contravening lockdown regulations by refusing to accept instructions from an enforcement officer.”
Speaking on Friday, National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said; “Circumstances leading to their arrests are that the two went to the hospital at around 8am and it is believed that they sneaked into the hospital after conniving with a security guard at the hospital.
“They had intended to interview the three MDC-Alliance members who are admitted at the hospital and they had laid their equipment down when they were seen by security at the premises, who alerted the police,” he said.
Only last month Government listed journalists among providers of essential services allowed to work during the lockdown to combat the spread of COVID-19. The journalists joined health workers and security forces, among other sectors, that are permitted to work during this time.
The three MDC Alliance members – Harare West MP Johanna Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Christine Marova – were recently abducted by suspected state security operatives from a police station before being seaxually abused according to their testimonies.
They were eventually located at Muchapondwa Business Centre in Musana, Bindura, last Friday and are being treated in the private hospital. After the police initially admitted to having arrested them, the government made a spectacular U-turn and denied they were ever in custody. Nehanda Radio