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Army commander's wife assaults journalist covering opposition party activity

(MISA/IFEX) - On 1 August 2007, the wife of Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Constantine Chiwenga, Jocelyn Chiwenga, assaulted freelance photojournalist Tsvangirai Mukwazhi at Makro Wholesalers in Harare.

Mukwazhi informed MISA-Zimbabwe that he was slapped several times by the army general's wife after covering a visit to the retail outlet by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and other senior members of his party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Tsvangirai and his colleagues had just left the wholesaler when Chiwenga spotted and descended on the photojournalist, who was there to cover the visit. The MDC leader and his delegation had apparently visited the wholesaler to assess the impact of government-sanctioned price slashes on commodities.

Chiwenga hurled all sorts of insults at Mukwazhi, accusing him of "advancing the agenda of Western imperialists". Other journalists who were covering the opposition leader's tour managed to sneak out of the wholesaler ahead of Mukwazhi when Chiwenga ordered the store's security guards to lock the doors so that she could deal with the "sell-outs".

In 2003, Chiwenga assaulted Gugulethu Moyo, the former Corporate Affairs Director of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), publishers of the banned "Daily News" and "Daily News on Sunday", at Glen View Police Station. Moyo had driven to the police station to secure the release of "Daily News" photographer Philemon Bulawayo who was being held at the police station when she encountered the army commander's fury.

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