Media stakeholders have encouraged political parties to desist from using violence especially against media practitioners covering the fourth coming by-elections.
his follows the alleged attack of Tell Zim journalist Courage Dutiro by Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) security personnel at a rally in Masvingo over the weekend.
It is alleged that the country's main opposition party's security personnel assaulted Dutiro while he was taking pictures of CCC’s Masvingo Ward 4 council candidate in the by-elections set for 26 March 2022, Thokozile Muchuchuti, who had reportedly collapsed during the rally.
In a statement Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe said political parties should support media personnel in carrying out their duties.
"MISA Zimbabwe condemns any forms of violence, particularly against media practitioners and journalists undertaking their lawful work," reads the statement. "In that regard, political parties should allow and support unhindered media coverage of all election related events and activities including creating conducive environments for journalists to work without any hindrance."
Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe
MISA encouraged both political parties and members of the police force to "take all necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of journalists during their political events".
Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) also echoes the need for journalists' safety at rallies.
"The union calls upon all political parties to formulate strategies to reign-in overzealous members and supporters bent on frustrating journalists from doing their work," reads a ZUJ statement.
Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) Statement
Political violence has been rife in the run-up to the weekend's by-elections with one death and various injuries being recorded across the country. CCC has on several been the main victim of violent attacks, with members of its presidium publicly denouncing violent campaigns especially by the ruling ZANU PF.