File image: journalist being attacked by police officers while covering a protest
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has implored media practitioners to avoid associating themselves with politicians during the campaign period.
At times, journalists have allegedly been offered transport by politicians to their rallies. A move which would expose them to being caught in the cross fire in case of politically motivated violence.
Of late, it was noted that some journalists preferred to be close to politicians to the extent of becoming embedded, something that is not advisable.
Addressing the media during a meeting between the ZRP and journalists in Mashonaland West organised by MISA Chinhoyi Advocacy Committee recently, the ZRP national spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, warned journalists from being closely associated with politicians and getting dragged to rallies.
Nyathi advised journalists to introduce
themselves to ground commanders for their own safety, especially during public gatherings.
Assistant Commissioner Nyathi called for an end to the tendency, of saying some reported cases on the harassment of journalists raised alarm and that was why the two parties had decided to engage each other.
The meeting was meant to improve relations between the police and the media as the country heads towards the 2023 harmonised elections.
Nyathi castigated journalists who
abused their relations with the police and go around breaching the law and only to rely on their colleagues in the ZRP to be rescued when they were in trouble.
“There are some who call to tell you that they have been arrested, and when you try to inquire what they would have done to get arrested, they end up not telling the truth.”
MISA Chinhoyi Advocacy Chairperson, Conrade Mupesa, said he was happy with the relations between the local media and the police.
Very often journalists have been attacked, arrested along with the masses especially during protests.
Police have defended their actions saying the journalists were to blame for allegedly siding with protesters.
On the other hand, journalists acuse the police for deliberately attacking them so to hide their (police) brutality from the media’s prying cameras.