Masvingo – The operating environment for journalists in Zimbabwe continues to shrink during the Covid-19 period with Police manhandling George Maponga, the Herald Bureau Chief at a roadblock near Mucheke River Bridge in Masvingo at around 2pm today.
The incident happened when Maponga who was driving a white Nissan Hardbody was barred from proceeding into town by Police in riot gear.
Two Police chief superintendents, Mubwere and Boyce present at the scene had to come to the rescue of Maponga after he was forced out of his car which he left idling in the middle of the road. It appeared that Police was randomly barring everyone, no matter the reason to get into town.
A litigant with an urgent High Court Chamber application that was being heard today was also barred from proceeding to hand over his papers to Justice Wamambo.
Efforts to get a comment from Maponga were futile. Maponga is also ZUJ chairman Masvingo chapter.
Chief Sup Mubwere said that journalists are free to do their work and said this would be emphasised at all Police parades. He said that he was going to look at the matter.
A Mirror reporter was near the scene when the drama unfolded.
This is the third time that journalists in the Province have been harassed by the Police. Former ZUJ president, Matthew Takaona was detained for three hours this week while another reporter in Chiredzi was allegedly arrested while covering COVID 19 stories.
The Mirror understands that MISA today filed an urgent High Court Chamber application to force Police to allow journalists to operate freely.https://masvingomirror.com