ZRP returns journalist’s camera after lawyers’ intervention

By Staff Writer

 

ZIMBABWE Republic Police (ZRP) officers have surrendered a camera
which they had confiscated from some journalists while they were
covering a protest in Harare in December.

ZRP officers unlawfully seized a Canon 1300 D camera belonging to two
journalists Hebert Sithole and Panashe Mukuta, who work for The Mail &
Telegraph, an online news agency on 11 December 2018 outside Harare
Central Police Station, where the media practitioners were assaulted
in full view of the public while covering a protest by some
disgruntled MDC party supporters.

The journalists were accosted by some ZRP members, who instructed them
to stop covering the protest despite having produced their media
accreditation cards, before the law enforcement agents forcefully
grabbed their camera and smashed it against the gate at Harare Central
Police Station.

This prompted the journalists to engage Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights, whose lawyer Kudzayi Kadzere filed an urgent chamber
application in the High Court seeking the return of the camera as ZRP
officers had no right to confiscate the media practitioners’ camera.

On Monday 24 December 2018, High Court Judge Justice Nyaradzo
Munangati-Manongwa ordered ZRP officers to surrender the camera to the
journalists after declaring the law enforcement agents’ conduct as
unlawful.

In compliance with the court order, ZRP officers promptly surrendered
the camera to the media practitioners on Monday 24 December 2018.