Journalists in Masvingo Province have condemned the arrest of Mirror editor, Garikai Mafirakureva, describing the arrest as persecution.
Several journalists from media houses across Masvingo on Friday packed the courtyard at the Masvingo magistrates’ court to show solidarity with Mafirakureva.
Mafirakureva was supposed to appear in court facing a number of charges including writing falsehoods and undermining the authority of the Police.
However, the Police did not show up for the court session and later dropped the charges after being advised that their case stood no chance at law.
The journalists who numbered more than 20 were at Masvingo Magistrates Court from 8 AM until 12 PM when they were told that the charges had been dropped.
EnviroPress editor Moses Ziyambi urged the Police to be conversant with media laws and how journalists operate.
He said Mafirakureva’s arrest was unnecessary and is more worrying in view of the looming general elections. Said Ziyambi:
Police know very well that falsehoods in a democracy are not criminal, but they are a civil matter.
This case is clear victimization intended to cow journalists before the Police.
Former Mirror editor Nkulumani Mlambo said Mafirakureva’s arrest was calculated to muzzle the Press.
He said the Police must leave journalists to perform their duties without outside control or interference. | The Mirror