(MISA/IFEX) - Ignatius Zuze, a male student nurse at Harare Hospital who assaulted a six-month pregnant journalist, Paidamoyo Chipunza, of "The Herald", was on 20 April 2011 fined US$100 by Mbare magistrate Brighton Pabwe.
The prosecutor, Mr. Tungamirai Muganhiri, proved beyond reasonable doubt that on 2 March Zuze elbowed Chipunza in the stomach before slapping her in the face. At the time, Chipunza was six months pregnant.
The magistrate also ordered one month imprisonment for Zuze, which was wholly suspended on condition he pay US$86 restitution to "The Herald" newspaper by 30 April. Zuze was, however, acquitted on two counts of assaulting the national daily's photographer, Innocent Makawa, as well as damaging his camera.
MISA-Zimbabwe commends the action taken by the police in arresting Zuze and ensuring that he is brought to justice. It is hoped that the police will not hesitate to deal with offenders who harass, intimidate or assault journalists going about their lawful professional duties without fear or favour.
Chipunza, a senior health reporter, was assaulted by Zuze while she was investigating a story on water problems at Harare Central Hospital on 2 March. Zuze also reportedly turned on Makawa, damaging his camera. He accused the journalists of photographing him without his consent.