MEMBERS of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) on Monday arrested a freelance photo journalist who was covering cash queues in central Harare.
The journalist, James Jemwa, was detained while filming soldiers queuing for cash at FBC bank along Nelson Mandela opposite the opposition MDC-T’s Harvest House head office.
Zimbabwe has been struggling with serious cash shortages, forcing financial institutions to drastically limit daily withdrawals, a development that has resulted in queues at banking halls across the country.
Security services started getting their salaries Monday after government, desperately short of money, was forced to delay June wages for the civil service.
Soldiers were reportedly causing chaos at banking halls in the capital as they tried to take charge of queues but took umbrage at Jemwa as he recorded their activities.
Three solders approached and manhandled the journalist.
They took his cameras before assigning an unidentified plain clothed “soldier” to take him to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces headquarters in central Harare.
“We are taking him to the Defence House for a short interview; he will be back soon,” the plain-clothed ‘soldier’ told NewZimbabwe.com while whisking Jemwa away.
Meanwhile MISA-Zimbabwe has assigned Harare lawyer, Obey Shava, of Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni legal practitioners to assist the arrested journalist.
Commenting on the development Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) secretary General Foster Dongozi said: “I have just heard about it (the arrest).
“I am on my way back to town and will visit the Defence House to hear the whole story.”
Army spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Alphios Makotore, could not be reached for comment.