Slow media reform frustrates CBA

tabaniHARARE - The Commonwealth Media Group have released a statement expressing their concern over the slow progress on improvements to the media in Zimbabwe.
(Pictured - Tabani Moyo, the Advocacy Officer of MISA Zimbabwe)

The group, comprising the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA), the Commonwealth Journalists Association and the Commonwealth Press Union, recently met in London with Zimbabwean media activists to assess the current state of play in the implementation of aspects of media reform which are supposed to accompany the transition to democracy in Zimbabwe under the Government of National Unity (GNU).

The secretary general of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association, Elizabeth Smith, said they resolved to bring a representative of the media in Zimbabwe to the UK to improve links and increase understanding.

Tabani Moyo, the Advocacy Officer of MISA Zimbabwe, is expected to visit London for a series of meetings “to develop links further” and enlighten the UK members of the Commonwealth Media Group about the situation in Zimbabwe.

The chairperson of the UK branch of the Commonwealth Journalists Association Rita Payne said her association was supporting the engagement because they were keen to provide “whatever help we can” to promote a free, robust and open media in Zimbabwe.

Patsy Robertson, speaking on behalf of the Commonwealth Press Union Trust said the consistent oppression of journalists had decimated the independent media in Zimbabwe for many years and was a matter of grave concern to the Trust.

Speaking from Harare, Moyo said Article 19 of the Global Political Agreement on Freedom of Expression and Communication recognized the importance of the right to freedom of expression and the role of the media in a multi-party democracy and outlines the road map for reforming the media landscape.

Laws such as POSA, AIPPA and various regulations in the operations of telecommunications have to be revamped before we can say we have a free media environment in which free and fair elections by a well-informed electorate can take place, he said.

The UK-based chairman of the Association of Exiled Zimbabwean Journalists, Forward Maisokwadzo, encouraged UK-based journalist to attend an upcoming meeting on the issue, saying this was an important opportunity to engage with journalists from home as well as the international community of journalists represented by the Commonwealth Media Group.

The meeting will be in London in early March. For more information contact Sandra Nyaira [email protected]

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