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Zimbabwe reporters prepare for elections

The Union of Journalists is not taking any chances when it comes to its reporter safety.

Zimbabweans queue outside Home Affairs in Johannesburg, waiting to apply for permits. December 2010. Picture: Nastasya Tay/EWN

ZIMBABWE - President Robert Mugabe still hasn’t set a date for elections. 

But one group, the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ), is not taking any chances. 

ZUJ is organising safety training for reporters.

ZUJ at the weekend said local reporters need to know how to manage the risks that come with reporting on elections Zimbabwe. 

Press reports say this is to be a nationwide training programme that will focus on first-aid and other safety issues. 

At least 200 people were killed during the last Zimbabwe elections, though it’s not thought that any reporters were among them. 

Union leader Foster Dongozi said election time is not business as usual for reporters in the country. 

His reporters have told journalism students at Harare’s Polytechnic College that reports had to be aware they could be raped, injured or even killed and they needed to know how to minimise the risks they expose themselves to.

Zimbabwe dropped 12 places on the World Press Freedom Index this year to number 133 out of 179 countries. 

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)

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