By A Correspondent- Police in Karoi have allegedly invited NewsDay correspondent Nhau Mangirazi for interrogation over a story that exposed their colleague who, in the company of Zanu-PF youths in the area, raided shopowners at night demanding bribes.
Mangirazi yesterday confirmed being called by the district police boss who did not disclose the cause of the summoning.
“I will present myself to the police tomorrow (today) in the company of my lawyers,” Mangirazi said.
The summoning comes after a junior police officer threatened to lay criminal charges against Mangirazi after their workmate was exposed in a scam in which he was demanding bribes from shop owners in the farming town.
NewsDay last week carried a story in which one Constable Bwanali, who in the company of two ruling party youths, went about demanding bribes from shop owners who open after designated closing times.
But some officers in Karoi Urban Police Internal Security Intelligence section have allegedly claimed that the story was a “declaration of war” between police and journalists.
This is despite officers from the same department conducting two investigations that saw three victims invited to give statements.
Zimbabwe Union of Journalists secretary-general Forster Dongozi pleaded with the police to stop harassing journalists.
“The police details who are threatening journalist Nhau Mangirazi are renegades who have no space in a Zimbabwe that is trying to find space in the family of nations. Such rogue policing is unacceptable, this is why some people are distancing themselves from such disgraceful conduct,” Dongozi said.
Mashonaland West police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ian Kohwera said it was unfortunate that some officers wanted to take law into their hands.
“As media, you are free to report and if you verify from relevant authorities, we look forward to see balanced stories. We expect members of the public to report any misconduct by any law enforcement agencts so that the law takes its course,” Kohwera said.
Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum executive director Mussa Kika said: “Interference with journalists and reprisals over the stories they publish amount to infringement and hinders truth telling.”-Newsday