ZANU PF members reportedly assaulted a Bulawayo-based journalist and damaged her phone on Monday.
CITE reported that the journalist, Annahstacia Ndlovu, who writes for Voice of America (VOA), was covering clashes at the Fifth Avenue market where ZANU PF members were chasing away vendors who are not card-carrying members from their vending bays.
She said she and other freelance journalists were at the Bulawayo Media Centre when they received an alert from informal traders from the market about the skirmishes. She said:
After receiving word on the violence, I with other journalists namely, Tuso Pamenus, Lungelo Ndlovu and Simbarashe Muparangada rushed to the market to see and capture what was happening there.
Ndlovu said while she was interviewing the affected vendors, the ZANU PF members returned and accosted her demanding that she stops recording. She said:
Luckily enough, I captured them in the video as they approached us. Those ZANU PF men told me not to take the video and asked me who I was.
I introduced myself as a journalist but they ordered me to delete the video I had taken.
They pushed me to their vehicle while assaulting me as their other accomplices ran away.
I asked them why they were beating me but they didn’t answer as they took away my mobile phone.
She said she recognised the individuals who attacked her and that she had reported the incident to the police.
Ndlovu was in Gweru the previous day, on Sunday, covering the CCC rally at Mkoba Stadium and still had footage of the event on her phone.
She said after her assailants went through the footage, they accused her of being “Chamisa’s person” and deleted some videos.
The journalist said her attackers did not destroy the phone, but her other phone, an iPhone fell to the ground and was damaged.