MISA slams media blackout

A press freedom organisation has slammed the blanket media blackout imposed around the coup plot court proceedings, charging the press ban will deprive Zimbabweans their right to information pertaining to issues of public interest.
High Court Judge Justice Tedius Karwi ruled that th

e press was banned from covering the coup court proceeding citing the “sensitive nature of the case.” The proceedings are being held in camera, which means members of the public and the press corps are banned from following the court proceeding where names of Zanu (PF) heavyweights have been bandied around.
The Media Institute of Southern Africa – Zimbabwe Chapter said in a statement a total news blackout on the court proceedings was unfair and not in the public and national interest. The leading press freedom organization said the ban gave room to
all sorts of speculation.
At least seven serving and former officers of the army have been charged with plotting against Mugabe. The men were arrested in stages, beginning on May 29, and appeared twice in closed hearings at Harare Magistrates’ Court earlier this month. A police record of the arrests said that the officers were accused of “treason” over a plot in which they allegedly wanted to overthrow Mugabe and install Emmerson Mnangagwa, the rural housing minister, in his place. Mnangagwa has rejected the allegation as “stupid” and the alleged coup plotters deny the charge.

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