ZIMBABWE – Two journalists were arrested and detained yesterday for taking pictures of an ongoing police blitz on those who were loitering at Masvingo Central Business District.

The publication has established from New Zimbabwe that Simba Mtembo and Tony Phiri who work for a local independent newspaper, The Mirror were detained by police for nearly an hour at Masvingo central police station before they were released without any charges.

Mtembo and Phiri were arrested whilst taking pictures of police arresting suspected money changers milling around street pavements outside the publication’s office along Hofmeyer street.

Mtembo and Phiri were handcuffed forced to walk to the police station. They were only released after an hour without any charges after the intervention of senior police officers.

Zimbabwe Union of Journalists vice president Godfrey Mutimba however, condemned the arrest of the two accredited journalists arguing that the police had no reason to arrest them as they were simply doing their work.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the harassment and detention of Mirror reporters by the police.

“We urge police to allow journalists to conduct their duty”

“It is actually barbaric to handcuff reporters while doing their work. Journalism is not a crime,” Mutimba said.

Following the extension of the national lockdown by the government, the police have intensified enforcement of the national lockdown measures to curtail the spread of the virus.

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