By Staff Reporter

The Zimbabwe Republic Police  is determined to ensure safety of journalists during their course of duty. This comes ahead of the 2023 elections, a period that is usually associated with the assault and arrest of journalists in the country.

The plea to protect members of the fourth estate came to light during the belated World Press Freedom(WPFD) commemorations held by Media Institute of Southern Africa(MISA) over the weekend in the Capital.

Speaking during the engagement, Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyati pledged to put all necessary steps to ensure safety of journalists during their course of duty.

He proposed to conduct an engagement between  media representatives and Commanding officers across all provinces in the country. The purpose of the engagement is to conscientise ZRP officers with regards to the role of media in the country.

“We want to go out to all the provinces to meet Commanding officers before elections are held. We want them to understand the role and functions of journalists in the society.”

Assistant Commissioner Nyati also reflected on a number of positive areas where the relationship between media and the police is improving.

“As we discuss these issues we say, journalism is not a crime. Previously there was acrimonious relationship between the police and the media but due to a number of engagements that have been conducted, we are now seeing some improvements.”

The police spokesperson also urged media representatives to also engage other important stakeholders in manoeuvring discussions around press freedom.

The commemorations were attended by media lawyers, media law expects and journalists from print,  broadcast and online media