THE Zambia Institute of Independent Media Alliance, (ZIIMA) says it is not a crime for journalists to cover the story around the ongoing Hatembo family farm controversy.

This follows reports that police harassed journalists and confiscated their gadgets in Mazabuka on their way back from covering a human rights story in Choma district.

Pheluna and Milton Hatembo have been running and hiding from what they disclosed as individuals forcing them to appeal a case of Kalomo Farm 1924 that has already been disposed of in court.

Meanwhile, ZIIMA Southern Province Coordinator, Mastone Moonze tells Byta FM News that it is embarrassing to hear journalists being harassed despite assurances from the head of state on their safety.

Moonze says some law enforcers in Mazabuka intercepted and interrogated some Journalists from Hot FM and Muvi TV.

He says unidentified individuals have also been trailing any journalist covering this human interest story.

Moonze, however, says the state must understand that journalists and media houses have a mandate and role to play in this case and bring out facts for public consumption.

He adds that the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and other charters allow journalists to seek and receive information as guaranteed.

Moonze has since challenged the police to come out in the open and state their position on this matter especially that most of their undercover officers having been identified as perpetrators.