A journalist from Masvingo was severely assaulted by shebeen operators from the ancient city on allegations of exposing their illegal activities.
The journalist, Tonderai Saharo (pictured above) who works for Newzimbabwe.com, was reportedly assaulted while on line of duty, investigating the interdicted operations of shebeen operators who have literally defied the Covid-19-inspired national lockdown regulations by selling beer at night.
Saharo was assaulted all over his body with stones and open fists by brothers Clive and John Taru who run one of the shebeens in the populous suburb of Runyararo West.
He was accused of being an undercover who informs police authorities in the area about their illegal operations. Following the attack, Saharo was reportedly left bleeding profusely while crying out for help.
“They first confronted me while I was talking to other people at the place soon after my arrival. Sensing danger, I excused myself and headed for the toilet (and) as I was about to leave I was followed inside and one of the owners pinned me on the wall while the other used stones to strike me on the forehead,” Saharo told the Masvingo Mirror in an interview.
He said he had to wrestle his assailants out of the toilet, resulting in other patrons intervening after they realised that the journalist was profusely bleeding.
The scribe, who sustained head injuries, had to seek medical attention at Masvingo Provincial Hospital.
Godfrey Mutimba, the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) vice president, condemned the assault.
“We condemn in the strongest of terms the assault of our member who was in the line of duty.These violations of media freedoms will never be tolerated and we call upon authorities to protect journalists especially at this particular time of fighting the spread of Covid-19,” Mutimba said.