Photojournalist Arrested

The peaceful protest was organised by the Women’s Movement at the popular Africa Unity Square in Harare.

Ufumeli, who works for the privately owned NewsDay, was arrested around 9:30 am by an unidentified police officer while taking pictures of what appeared to be a confrontation between a police officer and one of the demonstrators.

This follows incidents of arrests of women by the police, particularly in Harare’s Central Business District.

Police confiscated Ufumeli’s camera for about twenty minutes, insisting that the photographs that he had taken be deleted.

Ufumeli had to call Harare police spokesperson inspector James Sabau to come and clarify the issue with the police.  He was only released after Sabau liaised with the arresting details. His camera was only returned to him around 10 am after he had deleted the photographs in question at the police’s insistence.

No charges were preferred against him.

In a statement to the media, the Media Institute of Southern Africa-Zimbabwe condemned the police’s actions as unwarranted heavy handedness against journalists conducting their lawful professional duties.

“Such actions only serve to tarnish the image of Zimbabwe as an intolerant police state and should thus be condemned in the strongest terms possible,” read part of the MISA-Zimbabwe statement.