TATENDA CHIZUMASVINGO-Following a spate of arrests, harrassment and beatings of journalists on duty by the security sector across the country the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) has also added its voice by calling for the thawing of relations.In a statement released today, the NPRC which is tasked to ensure justice, healing, reconciliation and peaceful conflict resolution called for good working relations between the media and the security sector as they are all vital in the fight against the deadly COVID-19 which has claimed three lives with 23 confirmed cases in the country.The NPRC noted the positive role that the media is playing in educating and informing the public on what the authorities are doing to curb the spread of the virus which has killed 141 922 people and 2 118 894 confirmed cases worldwide.
NPRC chair, Retired Juctice Selo Nare.
“The media played a positive role in informing the nation on COVID-19, the lockdown, compliance by the citizens and enforcement by the security sector. There is need for an improvement of relations between the media and the security sector. The Commission implores the media to practise responsible and peace journalism by avoiding sensationalised reportage.“The security sector is also urged to respect the Constitutional rights of all accredited media practitioners. Both the security sector and the media are critical and are urged to exercise restraint, maturity, respect and tolerance towards each other in the performance of their Constitutional obligations,” reads part of the statement in possession of The Mirror.The Commission also noted with concern the overzealousness of some law enforcement agents in enforcing the 21-day lockdown as it tarnished the image of the sector.“The NPRC noted commendable level of compliance by citizens (though some attempted to defy the lockdown measures) a remarkable restraint by law enforcement officers (although some few misguided and undisciplined elements tarnished the image of the sector by acts of abusing citizens,” said the Commission.