The Ministry of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services says the government is investigating a case of police details that fired teargas at an office belonging to 263 Chat media house.
On Thursday police reportedly fired teargas at the 263 Chat offices after the journalists filmed them chasing vendors in Harare.
“Government has been made aware of an incident in Harare CBD which involves allegations of mistreatment of members of the Media made against the police. These allegations are now under investigation. Our constitution guarantees freedom of the Media and Govt respects the Constitution.” The Ministry said in a statement.
However, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has condemned the abuse of state funds which are used by police officers who spend time chasing vendors.
“Why do we have to pay for so many municipal and police details who spend the day chasing vendors? The money for fuel, teargas canisters, etc is it not better used to provide services in hospitals, schools etc. Vendors are working for survival coz there are no jobs.”
Commenting on the matter Human Rights Lawyer Fadzayi Mahere said, “The journalists have a constitutional right under s61(1)(a) to freedom of the media which includes the right to seek and communicate information and the public has a constitutional right to receive that information. The police must be brought to book.”