The Sports Journalists Association of Zimbabwe has issued a statement following Wicknell Chivayo’s verbal attack on Sunday Mail journalist Ishemunyoro Chingwere who revealed that Callisto Pasuwa had not been paid since signing a contract with ZIFA.
Chivayo had described Chingwere as foolish and overzealous who needed psychiatric attention. He also described journalists as soccer supporters who should remember that he (Wicknell) had done what no Zimbabwean had ever done since independence and thus expected appreciation.
Wickenwll wrote : Most of you broke idiots sit around in corners assuming that I did this for the publicity…HELL NO…who would be so stupid to spend 600 thousand dollars for mere publicity.
Chivayo also announced he was halting his sponsorship in 2016
However Chivayo’s comments have not been taken lightly by the association which represents Sports journalists in Zimbabwe.
In a statement the body wrote:
Sports Journalists Association (Spoja-N) is alarmed, disturbed and disappointed by the unbridled, vicious and disrespectful verbal attack on one of our members Ishemunyoro Chingwere by the ZIFA benefactor Wicknell Chivayo over a story which appeared in the recent edition of the Sunday Mail.
As Spoja-N, a body which represents the interests and welfare of sports journalists, we take great exception when we are insulted, threatened or harassed for doing our duties diligently. Chivayo’s diatribe is unwarranted and totally uncalled for given that he (Chivayo) virtually confirmed in his statement that the story is factual.
As members of the fourth estate, journalists should not be intimidated let alone verbally abused when doing their jobs. Wealth and power should not be used to suppress the freedom of expression as accorded by the Constitution of Zimbabwe. We demand Chivayo to give the profession the respect it deserves by apologizing to the journalist concerned and the media at large.