The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has accused the government of using the coronavirus-induced lockdown to arrest journalists and curtail citizens’ rights.
ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo said the harassment of journalists should stop and they should be allowed to do their work as they have a duty to inform the nation. Moyo said:
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union notes with concern that the government is using the outbreak of COVID-19 as a scapegoat (sic) to arrest journalists going about their business and this should stop.
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It is unfortunate that the outbreak is now being used to curtail people`s rights.
Journalists must be left to do their work without hindrance as they have an important role to inform the nation.
This follows the arrest of private media journalists Frank Chikowore and Samuel Takawira for allegedly violating lockdown regulations after they interviewed three hospitalised MDC Alliance activists.
The State alleges the reporters “sneaked” in to the hospital without permission and failed to maintain social distancing as required by the law.
The duo was released on bail after spending four night in remand prison.