ZEC, Police try to bar journalists from delimitation meeting 

MIRROR REPORTER

GUTU – Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Elections Administrator for Gutu, Ernest Mukwidza today tried to bar Mirror reporters from covering a delimitation meeting that he was chairing at Mpandawana Growth Point after insisting that the scribes should have sought permission first.

His bid however, hit a brick wall after the journalists spelt out their lawful rights and stood their ground.

When cameraman Nyasha Mariga took out his camera to take pictures, Mukwidza ordered him to stop. He further ordered Nyasha not to take pictures of him without his consent.

However, veteran journalist and former commissioner with the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) Matthew Takaona who was present during the meeting intervened and told Mukwidza that Nyasha is a bona fide journalist accredited with ZMC and therefore has every right to film the proceedings of a public meeting like the one in process.

Nyasha as a journalist, added Takaona, also had a right to take pictures of anyone in a public meeting including that of Mukwidza. 

Mukwidza then said Nyasha should have introduced himself to the meeting but Takaona said it was not the duty of journalists to go around paying courtesy calls on people. Rather, he said, anyone who doubted journalists should ask for their accreditation cards.

The Officer-in-Charge at Mpandawana Inspector Cames Myambo who was also in the meeting then ordered journalists to stop their work and allow him time to consult his superiors.

Takaona once more responded and told Myambo that there was no one to consult except the law. He accused Myambo of trying to abuse his powers by giving unlawful instructions.

Myambo then left the room to make calls but Mukwidza followed immediately afterwards and the meeting ended.

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