Masvingo – Matthew Takaona, who is a former president of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) and a consultant with The Mirror was arrested and detained without charge by Police in Masvingo today as he was assessing the effects of a Government order to reopen vegetable markets in the midst of the Covid 19 threat.
Last month Takaona wrote a hard-hitting article on President Mnangagwa’s failings. The article titled President Mnangagwa can only be unwell was well read by many and shared on social media.
Takaona who was driving a marked Mirror car and had all his papers on him was ordered by an overzealous Police officer to make a u turn at a roadblock and go back to where he was coming from.
Takaona who was on his way back to the office told the constable that he was at work and had deadlines to meet but was told by the officer to obey the illegal order and go back.
Takaona who is also a former commissioner with the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) was then arrested as he tried to explain that he was providing an essential service according to the law. The officers threatened to handcuff him if he continued to complain against his arrest.
“I was baffled by the personalisation of simple issues at the roadblock. I had all my papers with me and the Police details at the roadblock clearly knew that the media is an essential service but still they insisted on enforcing an illegal order.
“I doubt if policing means harassment of citizens, taking away their rights and slighting them by throwing insults at roadblocks.
“Police has a serious need to retrain their junior offices because what they practise is at cross purposes with the Police Service Charter. There is an uncanny zeal to use force even when people are fully co-operating.
“The situation was made worse by the woman inspector in charge at the roadblock who instead of providing leadership joined her juniors in arguments with clients and insulting them. The leader at the roadblock was an excitable woman. Arrested people were being asked about their level of education or scolded for being too old,” said Takaona.
He said he was happy with the quick intervention of Assistant Commissioner Taonei Nyazema the Officer Commanding Masvingo who ordered his release.
Takaona also expressed his appreciation to ZUJ, MISA and fellow journalists who quickly pursued the matter and ensured that it was attended to swiftly.
Source: Masvingo Mirror