By A Correspondent| A freelance journalist based in Harare Anyway Yotamu has been arrested by the police while taking pictures of their scuffle with vendors along Nelson Mandela Avenue near First Street.
The police were arresting vendors near the opposition MDC-T headquarters when Yotamu who was just coming out of the press conference addressed by Douglas Mwonzora started taking pictures of the mayhem.
Upon noticing that Yotamu was taking images of the scuffle, the police pounced on him, forcing him to delete the images.
They assaulted him and used two sets of handcuffs to arrest him.
Meanwhile, Young Journalists Association (YOJA) has condemned the police for assaulting Yotamu.
It is with great concern that young journalist Anyway Yotamu has been beaten and arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) anti-riot officers, outside MDC-T’s MRT headquarters, Harare.
The officers have barred everyone from accessing him despite being told he is a journalist and him having shown them his Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) accreditation card.
Yotamu is now detained at Harare Central police station where a Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA Zimbabwe) legal team is set to assist.
Yotamu was beaten and arrested as he shot videos and took pictures of an altercation between City Parking attendants and touts near the opposition headquarters, where party leader Douglas Mwonzora was addressing other journalists.
His knee has been injured.
We call upon the police to release Yotamu unconditionally and allow him to seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
The statement “journalism is not a crime” should be respected as our rights are explicitly protected by the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Discussions with the ZRP’s top officers on the need for journalism to be respected, have to at least indicate a change in mentality, especially when it comes to junior officers.
Our calls are not baseless.
More to follow….