The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) violence against journalists reared its ugly head last Saturday when that party’s leader, Nelson Chamisa’s security aides attacked a journalist for taking pictures at a rally in Masvingo.
The security team assaulted a TelZim journalist, Courage Dutiro, and attempted to drag him out of the stadium accusing him of taking pictures meant to negatively portray the CCC.
According to a source, Dutiro was doing his journalistic duties when rogue Chamisa’s security team came and accused him of standing too close to Chamisa. The security team further accused Dutiro of being a ZANU PF sympathiser before they started assaulting him.
Dutiro has since opened a docket at Rujeko Police Station and the perpetrators are expected to be arraigned before the courts soon.
Meanwhile, a journalist who spoke to this publication on condition of anonymity said the CCC rallies had suddenly become a dangerous place for journalists, save for a few who are known CCC sympathisers.
“It’s now scary to cover CCC rallies due to the rogue behaviour of its members. The CCC members have no respect for journalists and the environment at their rallies is mostly hostile to journalists. They have their own clique of journalists whom they want and they view any other journalist as their enemy,” said the journalist.
The same journalist added that the attack on Dutiro was not an isolated case as last year, a Sly Media reporter, Robert Tapfumaneyi was harassed and attacked by Chamisa’s security aides who accused him of working for the ZBC. After Tapfumaneyi’s attack, Chamisa never showed remorse for the savage attack on the journalist and instead, it was the then deputy spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka, who later gave an insincere apology.
The journalist added that in March 2018, Herald Senior reporter Zvamaida Murwira and Freelance journalist Anna Chibamu were attacked while covering Chamisa’s press conference.
Herald photographer Tawanda Mudimu was also manhandled by the opposition’s thugs, while covering an opposition demonstration. In 2016, opposition youths burnt a vehicle belonging to ZBC during protests.