On the run in Zimbabwe
Wilf Mbanga, a Frontline Club regular and editor of The Zimbabwean Weekly, writes about Press freedom in The Guardian on the eve of World Press Freedom Day. Wilf highlights the cases of Freelance photojournalist Anderson Shadreck Manyere who will be spending World Press Freedom Day on the run,
Last week, Manyere was eventually released on bail. But the two Movement for Democratic Change officials arrested and released with him were arrested again 48 hours later, with no warrant. And the police are hunting Manyere.
His experience is not unique. Many journalists operating in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe have suffered in the past decade. Kidnapping, arbitrary arrest, torture, constant harassment ; terror tactics – and even murder – are all tactics used by the regime to retain a strangle-hold on the press. Edward Chikomba was kidnapped by state agents last year and his tortured body was found dumped in the bush a few days later.
Freedom of the press has always been elusive in Zimbabwe. At independence in 1980 the new government inherited a well-oiled state broadcasting network and bought the country’s largest newspaper company within months of taking power. link
Photograph of Anderson Shadreck Manyere taken from the Association of Zimbabwe Journalists.