Freelance journalist Anywhere Yotamu who was arrested by the police in Harare Central Business District (CBD) as he was filming a scuffle between taxi drivers and easy park rank marshals pictures has been charged with disorderly conduct.
Yotamu was summoned to Harare Central Police station where he went with his lawyer Shamiso Dhlakama on Friday and was ordered to appear in court tomorrow.
The journalist had come out of Morgan Tsvangirai House where MDC-T party leader Douglas Mwonzora was addressing a press conference on the Pomona waste-to-energy deal, when he proceeded to film the scuffle that was going on along Nelson Mandela Avenue.
The police forced him to delete images in his camera and they started assaulting him with button sticks on his knees before bundling him into their truck.
They are also alleging that he was resisting police arrest and throwing stones an allegation the journalist says is unfounded as he was only doing his work.
Yotamu’s arrest comes hardly on the heels of the arrests of Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) journalists Blessed Mhlanga and Chengeto Chidi who were arrested in Chitungwiza for allegedly taking videos at a polling station.
Mhlanga and Chidi were arrested and charged with violating electoral laws that prohibit people from taking photographs or videos at polling stations, they were also charged with disorderly conduct by allegedly refusing to comply with an order by a police officer not to record a video.
Mhlanga and Chidi’s trial is continuing at Chitungwiza magistrate’s court.
Yotamu’s arrest has sparked fears of renewed attacks on members of the press ahead of the 2023 general elections with journalists calling for protection against police brutality.