According to MISA-Zimbabwe, about 21 journalists have been arrested in Zimbabwe while reporting on the anti-government protests that have been common in Zimbabwe these past months.
Some of these journalists arrested at anti-government protests include James Mewa.
Mewa, a journalist, was locked in a top security prison for covering a protest against President Robert Mugabe, which occurred in August, according to the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)-Zimbabwe chapter (MISA-Zimbabwe).
Another journalist wrongfully abducted was Crispen Ndlovu who works as a photojournalist. News24 reports that Crispen was assaulted by riot police and the ensuing result saw Crispen admitted into a private clinic in Bulawayo in order to treat his wounds.
Some members of MISA-Zim met with the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) spokesperson, Charity Charamba. She agreed that both the police and the journalists need each other, stating that the journalists need to be objective in their reporting and non-partisan.
Zimbabwe has been notorious for having a strong grip on the freedom of the press. During the economic crisis in the early 2000s, dozens of reporters and journalists were arrested.
The 2002 Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) was a thorn in the sides of Zimbabwean journalists. This law requires all journalists and media companies to register, as well as gives the information minister absolute powers to decide which publications can operate legally and who can be a journalist. Unlicensed journalists face penalties which may include serving up to a two-year sentence in jail.
As Zimbabwe goes deeper in economic crisis, Zimbabweans decide to take to the streets to protest missing funds, failed promises, unemployment, police brutality and all responsibilities that have been neglected by the current government.
The protests at first came as a shock as Zimbabweans came out in thousands to show their frustration with the current government. But as more protests sprouted, the ZRP clamped down on protesters and journalists covering the protests.