By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Zimbabwean journalist Gilbert Munetsi was Friday arrested and spent a night in police cells in Chitungwiza for allegedly violating the 6 am – 6 pm Covid-19 curfew regulations.
On Saturday morning, MISA Zimbabwe deployed lawyer, Tafadzwa Mugabe who attended to the matter and secured his release.
In a statement, MISA said Munetsi was arrested when police rounded up people who were still outdoors beyond the prescribed time of 6 pm as provided for in terms of Statutory Instrument (SI) 174 of 2020.
The lawyer however argued that the police did not give Munetsi an opportunity to explain and to show them his accreditation card.
He was released with no charges.
“MISA Zimbabwe urges the police to heed the fact that journalists are providers of essential services in terms of SI 83 of 2020 as amended by SI 93 of 2020 and SI 174 of 2020. As such, they should be allowed to undertake their professional duties without any unjustified interference.
“MISA Zimbabwe also takes this opportunity to remind the media that our staff is on standby to assist media practitioners/journalists injured or arrested in the line of duty. The MISA Zimbabwe Hotline is 0784 437 338,” read the statement.
Recently, Zimbabwean journalist and documentary filmmaker Hopewell Chin’ono was arrested and charged with incitement to commit public violence. Two months ago, soldiers assaulted journalists Munashe Chokodza and Leopold Munhende who were returning home from work.
The duo was assaulted with military whips at the Warren Park shopping centre in Harare.
When Mnangagwa took over power from late former president Robert Mugabe through a military coup in November 2017, he promised economic recovery based on respect for human rights and subsequent removal of sanctions.
Three years down the line, the international community is condemning his regime for failing to respect human rights. Nehanda Radio