The Standard is working on a follow-up story to consolidate the lead story of September 18 – 24 about the police opening fire using live ammunition to quell protests. The story will be published in the next edition of The Standard on Sunday.
Source: Police statement on Standard ‘Gun shot’ story – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 20, 2016
Tangai Chipangura, Acting Editor
Police last Sunday refuted the story and accused The Standard of unprofessionalism and “openly” pursuing a political agenda among other journalistic felonies. We however stand by our story and restate that police indeed opened fire to quell spreading protests last Saturday.
We wish to assure our readers and stakeholders that we verified the facts contained in our story and that our reporters were there on the ground collecting and recording information. As such, we stand by our story – that the police opened fired into the air to disperse protesters.
The Standard is an independent, ethical and credible newspaper which is non-political and therefore does not hold a brief for any political organisation as suggested by the police. Claims by the police that we have “openly turned political and threw all ethical tenets of journalism through the window in order to achieve one’s political agenda” are themselves malicious and meant to discredit the newspaper without investigating the reports and therefore without facts.
The Standard does not publish stories based on heresay or speculation and we wish to restate that indeed the police did engage in running battles with protesters which resulted in several arrests and the opening of gunfire.
The Standard did contact the police to verify the story before publication and the police responses are published in the story.
We value the MISA co-ordinated meeting between the police and the media last week and stand by the position agreed – responsible reportage and a stop to media harassment by the police. We are therefore concerned by the unsubstantiated and damaging claims by the police accusing The Standard of “peddling falsehoods” and harbouring certain political agendas.