Zimbabwe riot police assault journalist

Ruvimbo Muchenje

RIOT police yesterday assaulted an Alpha Media Holdings journalist during running battles between the cops and vendors in central Harare.

Ruvimbo Muchenje, who sustained injuries, said she was waiting to board a commuter omnibus along Julius Nyerere Street on her way to work when the incident occurred.

“I was carrying my work camera and when I got into Julius Nyerere Street to get transport to Graniteside. I saw a group of anti-riot police coming from Angwa City clad in riot gear and carrying baton sticks. I heard a female police officer shouting ‘there is a photojournalist, deal with her’.

“Four male police officers then pounced on me and they started beating me up with baton sticks on my back and my behind,” she said.

“I did not run — I simply walked on until they stopped beating me. They were shouting that I must not take any pictures”.

Muchenje said she had not taken any pictures and did not understand why the police assaulted her.

“I called a work colleague to come and assist me and I was taken to a private medical centre for treatment, where I got an injection and pain killers,”
she added.

Police spokesperson assistant commissioner Paul Nyathi said he learnt about Muchenje’s assault through social media posts.

“It is an unfortunate incident — and I read it on social media,” he said.

“I encourage Muchenje to report the issue to the nearest police station so that we can investigate the matter.

“She must state the time and exact place where that happened.

“Muchenje should get in touch with me on Monday so that I can assist her,” Nyathi said.