Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Reporter
POLICE are now ready to ensure that the forthcoming harmonised elections will be held in peaceful and crime free environment.
Addressing a media workshop in Gweru on Tuesday, police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said police are now ready for the impending election and would ensure that they would be held under a peaceful environment.
“Police have a pivotal role to play during elections. I feel it is very critical to talk about this role as we approach harmonised elections. We are now geared up for the forthcoming elections and we have put measures in police to ensure that we reduce elections related crimes. His Excellency, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has consistently appealed to the citizens of Zimbabwe to maintain peace and respect for opposing views,” she said.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said the media has a role to play in ensuring that the elections were peaceful and there is public security.
“It is a fact that, the media plays a vital role in informing, educating and entertaining the public before, during and after elections. Information dissemination is therefore key to a peaceful election process. The Zimbabwe Republic Police and media inevitably need to work together in this regard.
“The relationship between the police and the media is like that of fish and water, we cannot do without each other. The ZRP is a source of important information more so as it relates to the security of the country. Our police stations across the country receive information from reports as they occur.
“While this information might be of interest to the media we also have an obligation to inform the public with a view to enhance security in the country.
We also have a duty to provide crime trends and conduct awareness campaigns to the public and inform them of what is going on in their communities,” she said.
Snr Asst Comm said the media should report responsibly, objectively and accurately and avoid sensationalising stories so as to cause alarm and despondence.
“We therefore expect the media to assist the ZRP to spread messages of peace while they conduct awareness campaigns against political violence, hate speech and peddling of falsehoods. We are calling for responsible journalism as experience has shown that subjective stories tend to distort facts and polarise communities along political lines.
Journalists covering demonstrations, public disorder situations can contact ground commanders at respective places of occurrences where they face challenges in conducting their duties,” she said.