THE Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) has condemned as “unacceptable”, the barring by MDC-Alliance hooligans of The Herald journalists from covering the troubled opposition party’s media conference in Harare yesterday.
After failing to gain entry into Morgan Tsvangirai House, which is now in the hands of the rival MDC-T party led by Dr Thokozani Khupe, MDC-Alliance members moved its briefing to the Media Centre along Jason Moyo Avenue.
Security personnel manning the entrance declared that The Herald was not invited to the event before closing the door on the newspaper’s crew.
ZUJ secretary-general Foster Dongozi described the incident as unfortunate and unacceptable.
He said politicians should refrain from such barbaric acts and allow journalists to exercise their right of informing, educating and entertaining the public.
“As ZUJ, we strongly condemn the behaviour by the MDC-A party of barring journalists from carrying out their duties. Their actions are totally unacceptable.
“We will also be making some inquiries with the MDC-A leadership and the Zimbabwe Media Commission to find out how such issues can be dealt with.
“The MDC-A leadership should be very ashamed and embarrassed by the action of their security staff, a violation of the rights of journalists as workers and also their supporters, who want to hear what they are saying,” said Dongozi
Earlier, there was drama at Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House along Nelson Mandela Avenue after MDC Alliance youths threatened to enter the building violently.
The building is currently occupied by Dr Khupe’s faction after the Supreme Court recently declared her as leader of the MDC-T.
Armed with the court ruling, Dr Khupe recently took control of the building (formerly Harvest House), evicting the MDC Alliance, which had been using it as its headquarters.
In defiance of the court ruling, MDC Alliance hooligans attempted to storm the building, but in vain.
MDC-T chairman Mr Morgan Komichi confirmed the skirmishes which he said were organised by some parliamentarians aligned to MDC Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa.
“It was around 11am when we were coming for a standing committee meeting. The drunk youths started throwing stones at the entrance and they destroyed windows. We reported them to police,” said Mr Komichi.