Zimbabwean Journalist Narrates Arrest For Covering Coronavirus Lockdown

A Zimbabwean freelance journalist, Kudzanai Musengi was on Monday arrested for taking photos in the Central District (CBD) while covering the 21-day COVID-19 lockdown.

Zimbabwe announced a 21-day lockdown as a measure to stop or reduce the spread and transmission of the novel coronavirus. Announcing the lockdown, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said that the citizenry had to stay at home.

Musengi told New Zimbabwe that he was taking photos intending to tell the story that people had complied with the lockdown.

He added that the police officer who approached him demanded to see his accreditation card and when he produced a 2019 card, the police officer said that he had an expired card. He added:

I tried to explain that the Ministry of Information had said that we could still use the old cards since accreditation fees for 2020 were only gazetted last Friday but they would not listen.

The police took me to Gweru Central Police Station where I was moved from one office to another as the OIC (Officer-in-Charge) was said to be away.

I told them they could even call ZMC or even the (Information) permanent Secretary Mr Nick Mangwana but again they refused.

Musengi also said that the police also ordered him to surrender his phone but he refused. He was released after intervention by the Police Public Relations department.

More: New Zimbabwe

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