Wednesday, June 12, 2013

(HERALD ZW) MDC-T intensifies assault on journalists
Saturday, 08 June 2013 00:00
Lloyd Gumbo Herald Reporter

A JOURNALIST with the Zimbabwe Independent, Herbert Moyo, was yesterday severely assaulted by MDC-T security personnel at Harvest House, the party’s headquarters, while covering a demonstration by MDC-T activists from Sunningdale.

The attack on Moyo came barely 24 hours after MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s aides manhandled Chronicle senior reporter Mashudu Netsianda before confiscating his notebook and deleting recordings from his mobile phone.

Netsianda was attacked while covering a meeting between Mr Tsvangirai and the Bulawayo business community.

The attacks come in the wake of Mr Tsvangirai’s threats on media organisations that do not toe his party line.

“You cannot have a newspaper with six articles saying Tsvangirai this and Tsvangirai that. Every day! Regai vakadaro. But musi umwe gava richadambura musungo. That kind of a media has no future in a democratic Zimbabwe. I want to tell you this. Muchadya izvozvo,” Mr Tsvangirai told delegates at MDC-T’s recent policy conference.

Moyo was dragged into the party offices where he was assaulted.
[Herbet Moyo]

Herbet Moyo

“I was taking photographs of the protests using my phone. That is when some guys from MDC-T came to me and ordered me to delete the pictures but I told them I could not because I was performing my duties as a journalist,” Moyo said.

“I told them I was a journalist but they dragged me like a criminal into one of the offices and started assaulting me mainly on my head. While they were beating me, my colleague phoned Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T spokesperson) who was said to be in South Africa.

“When my attackers heard that Mwonzora was on the phone, they then stopped assaulting me. Mwonzora apologised over the phone. What is ridiculous is that those people tried to disown people who beat me up in their office saying they were vendors. But I asked them if they allowed vendors to just drag people into their offices and beat them up and they could not answer.”

The journalist said people based at Harvest House did not come to his rescue. Moyo however, said he was yet to report the case to the police.

Mr Mwonzora professed ignorance of the incident.
“I am not aware of that. We don’t condone any violence against anyone. Any person who engages in violence has to face the full wrath of the law.

“If indeed this is true then disciplinary action will be taken against any member of the MDC-T who engages in violence. This is clearly a criminal act and the law must take its course,” said Mr Mwonzora.

Zimbabwe Media Commission chairperson, Mr Godfrey Majonga said the commission frowned at organisations that attacked journalists while carrying out their duties.

“Therefore we call upon all political parties that as we head towards the elections they must respect journalists and the law,” he said.

“They must heed the call by President Mugabe and other leaders that we should observe peace. Generally, the commission is calling upon all people to respect journalists as they go about their duties.

“We also request journalists to report fairly and ethically and try not to incite the public through their reportage.”

Misa-Zimbabwe Director, Mr Nhlanhla Ngwenya had no kind words for the MDC-T.
“Our position as Misa-Zimbabwe is that we don’t condone an assault on journalists regardless of which organisation they work for.

“An assault on a journalist who is being victimized in the course of duty can never, whatever the circumstance be condoned.

“It is even worse for a party that all along claimed to promote and protect civil liberties among which is freedom of expression and media freedom.

“We Misa-Zimbabwe, we call upon the leadership of the MDC-T to bring to book all those that have been implicated in the assault and harassment of the two journalists in Harare and Bulawayo respectively. They should walk the talk and that begins with the processes and events with their own control,” said Mr Ngwenya.

ZUJ acting president Michael Chideme condemned the attack while hinting that journalists would boycott activities of violent political parties.

“ZUJ has learnt with a deep sense of pain that attack on Herbert Moyo. The union condemns any form of attack on media workers during the course of their work.

“We call upon political parties to restrain their supporters from engaging in violence. If attacks on the media continue journalists may consider boycotting covering of violent political parties and individuals for an injury to one is an injury to all,” said Chideme.

Efforts to get a comment from Media, Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu were fruitless.

Mr Tsvangirai’s outburst against the media courted controversy from media representative bodies for threatening to close media organisations that do not toe his party’s line should he win the forthcoming harmonised elections.


Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home