NEWSDAY senior reporter, Richard Chidza was yesterday summoned to Harare Central Police Station, where he was quizzed over the source of a damning communiqué issued by war veterans
Source: Police summon NewsDay reporter over war vets communiqué – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 12, 2016
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Chidza, who was accompanied by Alpha Media Holdings legal assistant, Sifikile Thabete and lawyer, Harrison Nkomo, was summoned by Officer Commanding CID Law and Order Division, Assistant Commissioner, Crispen Makedenge.
Makedenge wanted Chidza to disclose, who gave him the communiqué, when he covered the war veterans’ indaba held in the capital last month.
They recorded a statement from Chidza before he was released without charge.
Media Institute of Southern Africa Zimbabwe chapter legal officer, Jacqueline Chikakano said, while police are allowed to pursue their investigations, it was important to respect the Constitution.
“It is important that they (police) remain seized with the fact that protection of the confidentiality of journalists’ sources of information is an integral component of freedom of the media, that is well guaranteed by our Constitution and any journalist, who refuses to divulge their source would be well within their rights,” she said.
Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe executive director, Loughty Dube said police should not even have summoned Chidza over the story.
“Police must cease this practice of enrolling journalists and to conduct their investigations into cases which seem politically motivated,” he said.
“Media practitioners are just messengers and they don’t deserve to be guests at police stations. Instead, they should be let to execute their professional duties of making sure that hard-pressed Zimbabweans access information and freely express themselves as provided for the Constitution.”