Mwananchi Reporter attacked by security forces in Zanzibar


By Rosemary Mirondo

Dar es Salaam. A journalist working for Mwananchi Communications Ltd (MCL) in Zanzibar, Jesse Mikofu has been attacked by SMZ security personnel while carrying out his duties Wednesday, April 21, 2021.

Mikofu was attacked while taking photographs of the security forces who were evacuating petty traders who had displayed their goods along the road at Darajani area.

However, Urban West Regional Police Commander, Awadh Juma Haji said he had no information about the incident and promised to come back as soon as it reaches his desk.

Describing the situation, Mikofu said in addition to being beaten, dragged in mud, the officers also forced him to roll muddy water and later do push-ups; his work equipment including the smart phone he used to take the photographs was also destroyed.

“I arrived at Darajani and found security personnel carrying tables and loading them into their cars, I took out my phone and started taking pictures, behind me came an officer who questioned me and wanted to know who I was, I immediately introduced myself and showed him my ID.”

He was not satisfied and took me to their head who ordered the punishment, I was told to sit down with my legs straightened then carry big stones and hug them,” he said.

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Mikofu was further beaten by the uniformed officers asking him to show them the pictures he had taken and then forced him to change the password on his email.

“Their head wrote his number on my phone so that I could send the pictures and I obliged, they told me to change the passwords (passwords) when I hesitated they called another officer who changed my email password then forced me to destroy my phone using stones,” he said

He was then directed to lay in a paddle of rain water and roll again, it was after the final lap of punishment that he was allowed to leave the area.

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