ZANU PF youths Monday made Harare Magistrates Courts a hell for journalists and officials, threatening to assault and break cameras if anyone ever tried to take pictures of their leader who was due to appear that same day.
The youths warned photographers and reporters to pack their cameras, threatening to make a scene and assault anyone who tried taking pictures of Zanu PF Harare provincial youth leader Godwin Gomwe upon his arrival at the courts.
Gomwe was arrested for abusing Grace Mugabe’s name to extort $25 000 form 10 housing cooperatives.
Over a hundred supporters thronged the courts to hear his matter.
“We are just warning you never to attempt taking photos or do anything that may offend us because we are untouchable and can do anything we want at any given time.
It will be your problem because there is nowhere to report,” one dreadlocked supporter in Rastafarian outfit said arrogantly.
We have destroyed state property and no charges were held against us. It is very easy to destroy your phones and cameras and get away with it,” another youth said.
Some women were heard saying they could throw anyone inside a car and drive away. They bragged saying they could deal with anyone.
A Herald photographer walked to the court entrance upon Gomwe’s arrival and was able to make a few shots before he was surrounded by some men who were formerly dressed.
The men ordered him to stop and in a few moments some angry youths threatened to break the camera. While they were doing so, some men approached NewZimbabwe.com reporter who was trying to take photos using her phone and ordered her to switch it off immediately.
After noticing the likelihood of a commotion, anti-riot police had to assist court officials with manning the entrance. The police wanted to search everyone at the entrance but were overpowered by Gomwe’s supporters.
They filled the court room where the matter was to be heard with some sitting on the floor while some were squatting between benches, defying orders by prosecutors and police to go outside.
The police were only able to disperse those seated on the floors and those standing after the intervention of Assistant Commissioner Crispen Makedenge, the Officer Commanding ZRP CID Law and Order Division.