Friday, March 25, 2011

(NEWZIMBABWE) Daily News reporter attacked by Tsvangirai supporters: paper

Daily News reporter attacked by Tsvangirai supporters: paper
by Staff Reporter
24/03/2011 00:00:00

A JOURNALIST from The Daily News was on Thursday assaulted by supporters of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai outside his MDC party’s headquarters in Harare, the newspaper said.

Xolisani Ncube was conducting street interviews near a shop selling MDC memorabilia, on the ground floor of the party’s Harvest House HQ, when he was set upon. His attackers stole a brand new digital camera and punched the young reporter in the face, said The Daily News’ news editor Guthrie Munyuki.

The reporter managed to escape but suffered a cut on his lip and his face was swollen, added Munyuki.

“It is the last thing we expect from a respectable party whose supporters have, of late, shown a violent streak synonymous with enemies of democracy and press freedom,” Munyuki said.

“This is worrying and we hope the MDC will look into this and help us recover our stolen camera as well as officially deploring this thuggish behaviour.”

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa was reluctant to finger the party’s supporters preferring to say “they could have been some people from Epworth who came to our offices with an aggrieved party member”.

Thursday’s attack is not the first time that the MDC supporters have either assaulted or harassed journalists on official duty.

In 2007, former South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) reporter in Harare, John Nyashanu, was manhandled by the Prime Minister’s bodyguards as he made his way into the building.

Al Jazeera cameraman, Austin Gundani was in 2008 severely assaulted in Mutare and out-going SABC bureau chief for Zimbabwe, Thulasizwe Simelane was manhandled in Highfield.

Two weeks ago, a freelance journalist Nkosana Dhlamini was almost ejected from a press conference by Chamisa after he asked the Prime Minister a question on his perceived lack of power in the inclusive government. An angry Chamisa charged at Dhlamini and accused him of posing “questions asked by Zanu PF propagandists”.

The Daily News returned on the streets of Zimbabwe after seven years last week with a launch issue, and resumes regular publishing on Friday. The paper was banned in 2003.

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