Home » Governance » Minister Speaks On Police-Media Relations

Government has engaged the police in a bid to normalise relations with the media following a recent fallout that saw some officials in the law enforcement agency exhibiting open hostility to media houses, including The Herald, over alleged unfair media coverage. The hostility and indifference has cascaded to the district and provincial structures as police withhold vital information or respond to inquiries in a hostile manner.

In an interview at the weekend, Home Affairs Deputy Minister Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi said he had spoken to police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri over the matter. He said the police were unhappy because of stories which appeared to accuse them following the recent death of a juvenile who was hit by a commuter omnibus while the driver was fleeing the police.

The failure by the police to rein in the kombi drivers, the media observed, had resulted in the death of innocent people who were knocked down by commuter buses driven on wrong sides of the roads or picking up passengers at undesignated points.

“The media or should I say the reporters have not been fair to the police because I remember one incident when a young boy was hit by a commuter omnibus there was a headline in one of the newspapers that read ‘Chihuri is Guilty’ and the other one was Charamba Uncharitable (in reference to police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba),” said Deputy Minister Ziyambi.

“The impression that was given was that lawlessness should be allowed to go on. Police should be allowed to do their job. When a commuter omnibus driver breaks the law, there should not be glorification to the extent that a headline in a newspaper will indicate that Chihuri is guilty . . . guilty of what?”

While it was regrettable that relations between the police and the media seemed to have broken down, Deputy Minister Ziyambi said the police action was a reaction to the incidents.

He said the relations between the police and media should start normalising following Government intervention.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba has, on several occasions, refused to co-operate with The Herald when reporters seek information of public interest.

Source : The Herald