Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) has condemned the recent brutal attack of four Techmag TV crew members by suspected ZANU PF members while filming ZANU PF and CCC rallies that were held 800 metres apart in Gokwe.
In a statement on Friday, 26 August, ZUJ urged the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to bring the perpetrators to book as this “will send a loud and clear message to all merchants of violence” that violence has consequences. ZUJ said:
ZUJ condemns the recent attack by alleged ZANU PF supporters of four Techmag TV crew members for filming activities at competing ruling ZANU PF and opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) campaign rallies in Gokwe.
The four, comprising Toneo Rutsito, Tongai Mwenje, Pellagia Mpurwa and Chelsea Mashayambire, were allegedly beaten by at least 12 suspected ruling party activists for filming the party’s campaign activities that were being held adjacent to those of the CCC.
The two rallies were reportedly held about 800 metres apart. The four Techmag crew have since filed a police report (RRB Number 5075126) at Chitekete Police Station in Gokwe.
The heinous attack-which saw Rutsito reportedly losing a tooth and Mwenje sustaining a deep gash on the forehead-goes against the spirit of promoting freedom of the media in the country.
Journalists/media workers should be allowed to do their work without having to fear for their safety.
The security of journalists is a constitutional issue and should always be guaranteed by both political actors and government security agencies.
ZUJ, therefore, calls upon the police to thoroughly investigate the alleged assault of the journalists in Gokwe and bring the culprits to book in what the Union hopes will send a loud and clear message to all merchants of violence that freedom of the media should be upheld always and everywhere. There should be no compromise.