The brutal and subsequent illegal arrest of Obey Manayiti and other journalists by the ZRP for doing their work is intolerable, retrogressive, unconstitutional and a clear violation of the journalists' rights of freedom of expression and freedom of the media, in short it is a clear indictment on Sections 61 and 62 of the Constitution!
We strongly condemn the police without any equivocation or ambiguity for harassing, terrorising, clobbering and wantonly brutalising journalists -State terrorism at its worst. It is sad that in this country journalists unlike in other democratic jurisdictions, face viscious violent attacks from state security apparatus particularly the police who are supposed to uphold and respect both journalists and fundamental human rights as they are sacredly enshrined in the country's Constitution!
This attack on the members of the fourth estate clearly shows the regretful reality that in so called independent Zimbabwe, members of the media just like during the brutal Smith dictatorship are terrorised, tortured and beaten for doing their jobs. Today's police brutality actually indicate that the sad reality that besides having adopted a new constitution with a brilliant Bill of Rights, the zanu led government is deliberately failing to develop a democratic political and constitutional culture imbued with basic principles of constitutionalism and the rule of law.
As citizens we urgently demand that the police who brutalised Manayiti and his colleagues be removed from the police force and in turn be arrested and convicted for human rights violations and crimes against journalists and humanity at large!
Linda T. Masarira
Zimbabwe Women in Politics Alliance