TellZim News’ Beatific Gumbwanda, is one of the two Africans who recently won the Deutsche Welle (DW) Freedom of Speech Award 2020 which recognises immense contribution to freedom of speech.
Gumbwanda is among 17 journalists from 14 countries being honoured for their immense contribution to the profession.
Zimbabwe and Uganda are the only African countries with journalists who are getting the recognition.
Gumbwanda, a Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC)-accredited journalist, is being honoured after he was arrested and detained by the police in Chiredzi on April 8 after going to Chiredzi District Hospital to inquire about a suspected Covid-19 fatality.
The deceased woman’s body had remained on the deathbed for several hours after nurses refused to take it to the mortuary as they lack personal protective gear.
The police accused him of breaching the Covid-19 regulations despite the media being recognized as an essential service provider.
DW director general Peter Limbourg has announced that the awards are dedicated to all journalists who have shown courage in the execution of their duties in the face of the novel coronavirus.
"The Freedom of Speech Award 2020 is dedicated to all courageous journalists worldwide who are suffering repressions because of their reporting on the pandemic. In 2020, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, DW has decided to honor 17 journalists from 14 countries.
“They represent all journalists worldwide who have disappeared or been arrested or threatened because of their reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Limbourg.
Since 2015, DW has presented the Freedom of Speech Award annually to a person or initiative that has shown outstanding commitment to human rights and freedom of expression in the media.