Tainted individuals must stay away from the Zimbabwe Media Commission

media_newsThe Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) is a new institution that Zimbabweans expect will usher in a new era in media reforms and bring in media plurality and diversity in the country. Zimbabweans have waited long for new voices to be heard, for new media players to be allowed space and for the voices of the downtrodden to make national news.

This is the opportune time for village and township voices to be heard. We have waited too long as a nation for change and the MDC believes that the Zimbabwe Media Commission represents the first step towards press freedom and media plurality.

Media freedom is the peoples freedom and individuals with a tainted history, a chequered and perforated past should not be found anywhere near the new media body. The likes of Tafataona Mahoso and other media hangmen who have left a legacy of five banned newspapers, bombed radio and television stations must never be allowed to be part of the board.

As a party of excellence, the MDC believes in press freedom. We believe in a Voluntary Media Council, but a Zimbabwe Media Commission would be a transitory step towards total press freedom under a new, people-driven Constitution. We believe that the new dispensation will not usher in a new era if we allow the old and suspicious characters to be part of the new order. It cannot be dawn if dusk characters of the Manheru mould are allowed to have their way in the new media dispensation.

The attempt by some of these characters in the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity to mislead the nation that the MIC has merely changed its name to be the Zimbabwe Media Commission is both scandalous and mischievous. A donkey does not become a cow by simply being renamed. These enemies of press freedom are either genuinely nave or are being mischievous by trying to impose the old MIC secretariat on the ZMC. The judge was very clear that the MIC is dead and buried, never to resurrect. We agree with the complainants in this case that it would be administrative witchcraft if the inclusive government were to use a dead body to accredit and superintend the work of journalists.

We believe that a new team of dedicated men and women can bring about the change that is envisaged in Article 19 of the Global Political Agreement. A new media dispensation is only possible if we are not going to do things the old way.

Yesterdays enemies of press freedom cannot be todays legitimate ambassadors of good journalism and custodians of good media practice. We are a party of excellence. We believe in a pluralistic, diverse, dynamic and independent media. We believe that journalists must be left to do their jobs.

A happy journalistic world gives birth to a happy new Zimbabwe.

Together to the end, marching to a new Zimbabwe.

Post published in: Politics

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