Zanu-PF councillors and supporters are reported to have threatened journalists with violence on Tuesday during the Chitungwiza mayoral election. This came after the Zanu-PF councillors unsuccessfully tried to have the mayoral election postponed to today. When the motion was denied by the MDC Alliance supporters who constitute the majority, the Zanu-PF councillors and their supporters started protesting and threatened journalists with violence for covering the protest. According to reports from Open Parly Zimbabwe’s Philemon Jambaya, a pregnant journalist was also shoved and pushed during the ensuing commotion.
The move was condemned by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Zimbabwe chapter which said,
The censorship, banning, or expulsion of journalists from public events is seriously condemned and is against the letter and spirit of media freedoms as espoused in Zimbabwe’s constitution.
MISA Zimbabwe reiterates that journalism is not a crime. Furthermore, citizens have a right to access information on government processes such as the election of mayors and other public officers.
Gift Tsverere (MDC Alliance) was elected mayor by a margin of 21-4 against Blessing Mutimbanyoka. Jabulani Mtunzi also of MDC Alliance was elected deputy mayor.