BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA

SEVERAL journalists were yesterday assaulted by suspected State agents while attending a media conference hosted by Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) president Takudzwa Ngadziore near Impala Car Rental in Harare.

Journalists including Godwin Mangudya, Thomas Madhuku, James Jemwa, Bernard Mpofu and Munashe Chokodza were attacked and their equipment confiscated and destroyed.
Ngadziore was arrested for protesting at Impala Car Rental, accusing the company of aiding the alleged abduction of student journalist Tawanda Muchehiwa by suspected State security agents in Bulawayo in July.

He is out on $2 000 bail.A truck used to abduct Muchehiwa ahead of the July 31 protests was hired out by the car rental company and student unions have been demanding answers from the company.

The men who attacked the Zinasu members and journalists were in plain clothes and did not identify themselves when they got to the scene, but indiscriminately assaulted everyone at the scene.

A picture of Ngadziore lying on the ground after the attack went viral yesterday. Jemwa’s pictures with bruises on the head as well as destroyed audio recorders also went viral.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he was not aware of the assault and “would find out”.

Meanwhile, human rights lobby group Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) expressed concern over the attack.

“ZimRights reminds the attackers that the right to demonstrate and petition is enshrined in section 59 of the Constitution. We also call upon the police to investigate and arrest the perpetrators. We strongly condemn the attack on journalists doing their work as freedom of expression and freedom of the media is enshrined in section 61,” ZimRights said in a statement.

The rights lobby group urged Impala Car Rentals to provide information and help expose those who were responsible for the abductions that have been taking place in the country.

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