By Anna Chibamu
JOURNALISTS covering a press conference called by Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) president Takudzwa Ngadziore were on Friday attacked by suspected state security agents in Harare.
Ngadziore was heavily assaulted and later dumped at a police station, according to MDC Alliance.
Young Journalists Association (YOJA) secretary general Phil Jambaya said, “as the press conference took place, some men in plain clothes allegedly came running towards the journalists 100 meters away from Impala Car Rental premises and attacked them destroying their gadgets and assaulting some”.
Jambaya, in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, said Voice of America (VOA) senior reporter Godwin Mangudya’s recorder was destroyed and James Jemwa, a freelance journalist lost his phone and camera.
This is the second time Jemwa has been attacked and also losing tools of the trade as police once confiscated his camera and refused to give it back.
Commenting on the attack, Jambaya said, “As YOJA, we are saying that government or individuals should allow journalists to work, to cover whoever they want to cover.
“We believe in freedom of expression which allows us to do our job without fear or favour. If they have any issues with Ngadziore, an activist, they should spare us journalists. Some journalists lost their gadgets during the attack.
“The state should investigate this attack and those people who were involved should be held to account. We condemn this behaviour.”
Meanwhile, MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda said Ngadziore who had allegedly been abducted by armed men in plain clothes was later dumped at a police station in the capital.
Ngadziore was granted bail last week after he had been taken into prison custody following his arrest for demanding justice on the abduction of fellow Zinasu member and student journalist Tawanda Muchehiwa in Bulawayo last month.
“We know there is a state military team responsible for abducting those thought of being enemies of the ruling party, known as the Ferret Team.
“Zimbabweans are generally not armed, therefore, it is clear that the people responsible for this attack are the Ferret Team. Zanu PF must spare the life of the student,” Sibanda said in a statement Friday.