We won’t lift gag – Mangwana

MASVINGO - The Zimbabwe government will not loosen its tight grip on the media because it fears a robust and independent Press could be manipulated by Western powers pushing for "regime change" in Harare, acting Information Minister Paul Mangwana has said.
Addressing journalists here at the weeke

nd, Mangwana, until now regarded as among the doves in President Robert Mugabe’s hawkish Cabinet, said Harare will also not allow private radio and television stations until it finds foreign currency to install infrastructure required before more broadcasters could be licenced.
He did not say when the Harare administration – struggling for hard cash to import fuel and food among other key national requirements – would ever find more cash to enable the state’s Transmedia firm, charged with providing transmission services for broadcasters in the country, to import more transmitting gear and other equipment.
Mangwana said: “If you see big and powerful nations like Britain and United States (US) passing laws to punish Zimbabwe, it means they want to effect regime change. We realise that they would want to effect regime change through the Press because it is a powerful instrument to effect their desired change. We will therefore continue to maintain tight controls on the press in order for us to remain in power.”
The US and European Union have imposed targeted visa and financial sanctions against Mugabe and his top officials of his government as punishment for stealing elections, failure to uphold human rights and the rule of law.
The Harare administration denies the Western charges and says sanctions against its officials -which it maintains have crippled Zimbabwe’s economy -were meant to punish it for seizing white land for redistribution to landless blacks.
Mangwana, who is also Minister of Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies, said the state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings would continue to “enjoy the monopoly” until money was found to develop transmission infrastructure.
“For us to develop an infrastructure which will accommodate other players in the broadcasting sector, we need forex for the exercise. We do not have money for that hence Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings will continue to enjoy the monopoly,” he said.
Zimbabwe, which has laws providing for the imprisonment of journalists for up to 20 years for publishing falsehoods, was once classified by the World Association of Newspapers as one of the three most dangerous places in the world for journalists, alongside the former Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran. – ZimOnline

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *