Zimbabwe urged to guarantee safety of journalists

2014-10-25 12:25

Harare - Global media watchdog, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, has urged Zimbabwe to guarantee the safety of journalists after a reporter was beaten up and detained by police.

Tapiwa Zivira, a journalist with the privately-owned NewsDay newspaper was attacked days after President Robert Mugabe's wife Grace accused reporters at independent newspapers of writing lies about her.

Zivira was attacked with batons after filming police beating street vendors and others, the CPJ said.

NewsDay said that during the assault police referred to Grace Mugabe's accusations.


"Public figures should have a high tolerance for criticism and should never disparage independent journalists for doing their work," Sue Valentine, the CPJ's co-ordinator for Africa, said in a statement.

"Such comments clearly can put journalists at risk of harassment or violence."

At a rally last week ahead of the ruling Zanu-PF's congress in December, Grace Mugabe, 49, said journalists from the private press were getting bribes to write negative stories about her since her nomination to lead the party's women's wing.

She repeated the claim at another rally on Thursday, saying a privately-owned daily was being paid by Vice-President Joice Mujuru, whom she accused of harbouring plans to topple Mugabe.

Journalists in Zimbabwe have in the past been targeted by political thugs at the instigation of politicians.


The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) condemned Grace Mugabe's attack on journalists and called on politicians to desist from making threats against reporters.

"The union condemns any attempts by public officials, politicians or other powerful individuals or institutions to threaten, silence or endanger journalists for doing their work," Foster Dongozi, ZUJ secretary general said.

"We appeal to public officials to avoid actions or language which could result in journalists having their safety and protection compromised."

Zimbabwe introduced tough media laws in 2002 which have been used to detain journalists and expel foreign correspondents.

  • Henderson Gudo - 2014-10-25 12:59

    What will you expect from a zanu poo-eff led government,they are blood thirsty individuals who will by all means try to put their hands on you when you try to expose them

  • Willem Vd Hoven - 2014-10-25 13:59

    Zimbabwe is free now. No western values such as dignity and respect will be allowed.

  • Johan Nothnagel - 2014-10-25 14:07

    Yip, you wont get slaughtered anymore but mugged..........

  • louis.elst - 2014-10-25 14:10

    If you think Bob was a bad man you wait and see this Grace will become the first female dictator of the worst kind, She is only interested in maintaining control over her wealth and what she can amass Idi Amin will live in her shadows

      Johan Nothnagel - 2014-10-25 14:13

      Then Grace must be part of the Zuma Culture.......maybe Showerhead can hook up with her one day :)

  • Nozipho Mayihlome - 2014-10-25 14:31

    am telling u;a time is coming when almost all of africa will be ruled by devil this space sa is next...

      Tried All - 2014-10-25 19:33

      nozipho that deserves a thumbs up my man. Except maybe Botswana.

  • Liewe Heksie - 2014-10-25 14:54

    No Nozipho, that is not going to happen. It is high time the citizens stand up against the Anc - Zuma - do something about it

  • Venicia Williams - 2014-10-25 15:00

    Don't hold ur breath on this one...anyone who is against Bob and Zanu-PF, is bound to be arrested or killed!

  • Thato Morakganye - 2014-10-25 15:09

    sometimes i do not blame the us for intervening in matters of other countries. this is insane

  • johan.schwartz.315 - 2014-10-25 16:23

    Juat another Zanu-PF ploy! Falsely accusing the press and other ministers of a coup spreading mis-information. Jonn Swartz

  • Dan Skosana - 2014-10-26 05:56

    Global media watchdog protect all journalists. They need to raise their views equally to protect journalists including the ones in Egypt. I have not heared their voice telling Egypt to release the illegaly detained journalists.

  • Leafet Magutshwa - 2014-10-26 17:58

    It is perhaps pertinent to note that journalist are not immune to propaganda and sometimes lies.Whatever action zim cops may take to punish irresponsible journalism shall never be the worst in the world. Guys watch what the jihardist are doing to both irresponsible and responsible journalists.They behead and shoot vidios.That is what human rights energy needs to nip in the bud at present.Zim is safe guys

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