The High Court has granted MISA Zimbabwe relief order interdicting police from harassments, arrests and detentions of journalists while carrying out their lawful duties.
The court has also ordered police to recognise 2019 press cards and to not interfere with the work of journalists on the basis that their press cards were issued in 2019.
MISA Zimbabwe had filed an urgent chamber application with the High Court seeking an order interdicting police officers and other law enforcement agents responsible for implementing the COVID-19 lockdown from interfering with the work of journalists on the basis that their press cards were issued in 2019.
In the application filed by lawyer Chris Mhike, MISA Zimbabwe was the first applicant while journalist Panashe Makufa was the second applicant. Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC), were cited as first and second respondents, respectively.
Media wanted respondents to be ordered to ensure that the ZMC’s statement about the validity of the 2019 press cards is communicated to all police stations in Zimbabwe.
In addition, MISA wanted respondents to be ordered to take “all necessary measures” for the protection of the media.