The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe has castigated the abduction and torture of Bustop TV comedian Samantha Kureya by unidentified armed men. MISA focuses on promoting and advocating unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media. The institute further called upon the government to ensure the safety of citizens at all time. The statement read:
MISA Zimbabwe urges the Zimbabwean authorities and the police to swiftly investigate the case involving the reported assault and abduction of Bustop TV comedian Samantha Kureya by unidentified armed men from her home in Harare’s high-density suburb of Mufakose.
These acts of lawlessness cannot be allowed to continue with impunity given the serious risk they pose to the security, life and limb of vulnerable Zimbabwean citizens at large. The Zimbabwean government has an obligation to protect and ensure the safety and security of its citizens at all times.
The armed and masked men reportedly forced their way into the house around 10 pm and assaulted Kureya’s family members as well, including minors. Her brother has since filed a police report at Marimba Police station. The report number is RRB 4149688.
In February this year, Kureya, otherwise popularly known as Gonyeti, and her colleague from Bustop TV were detained and fined after police held that a satirical skit they produced in 2016 amounted to public nuisance. During their brief detention in February, the Bustop TV pair were warned that their satirical skits were growing more political.
Citizens, including journalists and online content creators, should feel secure at all times and moreso in their homes, as provided for under Sections 51 and 52 of the Constitution which provide for the right to human dignity and personal security.
In addition, Section 61 provides for freedom of expression and freedom of the media which also includes freedom of artistic expression, scientific research and creativity and academic freedom.
Failure to get to the bottom of this matter risks spawning a wave of similar wanton acts of lawlessness and instilling fear in citizens exercising their right to free expression as provided for by the Constitution.
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