Journalists Ordered to Delete Photos, Video Of VP Mohadi Collapsing At Rally

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Media watchdogs and journalists in Zimbabwe have criticised State security agents who allegedly ordered journalists to delete photos and video of Vice President Kembo Mohadi collapsing at a campaign rally in Gutu, Masvingo on Saturday.

 

According to a VOA News report, the security detail rounded up journalists and ordered them to erase recordings of the event.

 

Mohadi was reportedly airlifted to an unknown destination for medical attention.

One journalist who spoke to VOA News on condition of anonymity said that soon after Mohadi collapsed at the podium, security agents and some ZANU PF officials rushed to where journalists were gathered. Said the journalist:

 

We were asked to delete our footage. Some phones of some journalists were taken for further checks, especially from those from the private media. The phones were taken for 10 to 15 minutes.

Soon after that, the security was always on journalists … checking the stories that they were going to write. Some of the officials said, “There’s no story about the collapse of V.P.”

… We have the right to our phones for privacy and also we have the right to inform the nation.

The head of the Media Institute of Southern Africa, Tabani Moyo said:

A story of that nature is of national interest. For them to round up journalists and request them to delete footage of a situation of a public figure who has collapsed in front of a rally, I think it is unfortunate.

Information Minister Jenfan Muswere reportedly refused to comment when he was contacted by VOA.

Perfect Hlongwane, secretary general of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists, said:

It is not just a violation of journalistic rights, but it is also a violation of the Constitution itself.

We want to call on government officials to say that they must actually be at the forefront to ensure that the Constitution itself is upheld.

Reports indicate that just before he collapsed, Mohadi said “l need water, I need water”.

VOA