Harare – Prominent Zimbabwean activists have saluted the journalists as assisting in the waging of what they called a war against dictatorship and oppression in Zimbabwe.
Journalists have been subjected to intimidation, threats, beatings and most times harassments as they cover events in Zimbabwe’s difficult political terrain.
Recently journalists who included a BBC, Aljazeera and freelance journalists got beaten up while covering an protest over the impending bond notes.
But speaking at a pre-demonstration against police who are using violence against Zimbabwean citizens, two prominent activists Stan Zvorwadza and Patson Dzamara hailed journalists for their efforts in spreading information on demonstrations.
Dzamara who is the brother to the missing activist Itai Dzamara gave thanks to the journalists saying they were assisting activists.
“If they were no journalists we could have been in a dire situation, your coverage exposes the bad things done to us as we fight. To journalists we would like to say keep it up guys! Thank you for the bottom of our hearts,” said the vibrant Dzamara.
Dzamara said while the country was independent they was still no freedom in the country.
“We are independent but we have no freedom. In my view from 1980 to date, power was just changed from the white rulers to the black ones, oppression has not changed,” added the militant Dzamara.
On the other hand Zvorwadza described journalists as doing 90% of the journalism work.
“To the journalist be as vigilant as possible. You are not doing business in a civilized world. We are in a war and I must say you are fighting 90% of that war whilst we are doing the 10%,” said the vendors.
Meanwhile Zvorwadza said that the police are undermining the president by ignoring the constitution’s obligation to protest.
“ By beating up and blocking demonstrators the police are undermining the President who signed the constitution. The police are saying to Mugabe, ‘to hell with you’, they are showing the highest level of disrespect,” he said.
Commenting on whether their protest against police brutality today was authorized by the police as dictated by the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) he said he would not normalize the abnormal.
“This culture of applying to the police to get the right to demonstrate is illegal. We don’t need authority from the high court to hold demos, it’s our constitutional right. Those Zimbabweans who constantly go to the High court for clearance are legitimizing the illegal,” added Zvorwadza.