File photo for illustration purposes

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has rescued freelance journalist Nunurai Jena, who had been on trial on what has been described as flimsy charges of disorderly conduct & for contravening some national lockdown regulations after he was arrested in April 2020 in Chinhoyi.

Jena, who was represented by Kudzai Choga of ZLHRL was acquitted by Chinhoyi Magistrate Chido Garwe.

During trial, prosecutors claimed that Jena insulted some police officers who were manning a checkpoint set up long the Chinhoyi-Chegutu highway by accusing them of being corrupt & thus hindered & obstructed them from carrying out their duties including refusing to comply with their orders.

Police officers claimed that Jena recorded a video footage of them checking & educating some pedestrians & motorists about the carriage & movement of people as stipulated in regulations gazetted by govt in April to contain the spread of coronavirus & without the consent of police officers.

Meanwhile, in Zimbabwe journalists especially freelancers have been at the receiving end from law enforcement agencies for some time.

During the national lockdown journalists were declared important services providers, but were still subjected restrictions and harassment by police.