Journalists pack courtyard in solidarity with arrested Mirror editor
By Brilliant Mukaro | Masvingo Mirror |
MASVINGO – Journalists from media houses across Masvingo packed the courtyard at the local magistrates’ court on Friday, not with notebooks in their hands, but to show solidarity with one of their own whom they felt was being persecuted by the Police.
Mirror editor, Garikai Mafirakureva, was supposed to appear in court facing a number of charges including writing falsehoods and undermining the authority of the Police.
However, Police was in no show and later dropped the charges after being advised that their case stood no chance at law.
The scribes who numbered more than 20 camped at Masvingo Magistrates Court from 8 am until 12pm when they were told that the charges had been dropped.
EnviroPress editor Moses Ziyambi said Police should be smart enough to understand media laws and how journalists operate because they work with journalists daily. He said the arrest was uncalled for and is more worrying in view of the looming national elections.
“Police know very well that falsehoods in a democracy are not criminal, but they are a civil matter. This case is clear victimization intended to cow journalists before the Police,” said Ziyambi.
Former Mirror editor Nkulumani Mlambo said Mafirakureva’s arrest was calculated to muzzle the Press and said Police must leave journalists to perform their duties without outside control or interference.
Some of the journalists who came in solidarity with Mafirakureva are Nkulumani Mlambo, Moses Ziyambi, Upenyu Chaota, Simbarashe Mtembo, Trust Rukwava, Martha Leboho, Sukuoluhle Ndlovu, Runesu Gwidi, Clayton Shereni and Beverly Bizeki.