The MDC believes that people should have access to information, education and entertainment. The abuse of the public media by a fading party to churn out propaganda at the detriment of developmental issues is of grave concern. The ZBC and The Herald have become a willing appendage of Zanu PF – a dead party that is seeking survival.
The MDC is further concerned by the existence of draconian media laws that has seen the arrest of scores of journalists in recent months. Nqobani Ndlovu of The Standard was arrested last year on allegations of writing falsehoods that tarnish the image of the police. Standard Editor Nevanji Madanhire, Alfa Media Holdings Editor in Chief Vincent Kahiya and the Zimbabwe Independent, Editor Constantine Chimakure were arrested and detained on similar charges of writing falsehoods that tarnish the image of the police and intelligence agents.
Recently, NewsDay senior reporter, Veneranda Langa was quizzed at the Defence House in Harare over a story she wrote stating that Army Chief Constantine Chiwenga was ill and had been airlifted to China for treatment.
The MDC notes with concern how senior Zanu PF officials and their supporters are openly threatening journalists doing their work. Simon Khaya-Moyo, the Zanu PF national chairperson recently urged the country security forces to crash journalists who criticize them.
In some countries if you criticise security forces you wont last a day, you will be crashed, killed and destroyed, Khaya-Moyo told Zanu PF supporters in Umguza early this year.
I warn journalists in the private media to stop this, because it wont be tolerated and we will hunt them and kill them. You hear them talk about press freedom. What press freedom?
State security agents have been at the forefront of harassing journalists for performing their duties.
As a peoples Party of Excellence, the MDC believes that the free flow of public information, giving citizens the right to know and be heard, is a hallmark of a functioning democracy. As such, the MDC calls upon the remaining progressive voices in the inclusive government and MPs to fight for a repeal of these repressive laws as they are affecting the freedom of communication.
Despite these challenges, the MDC calls upon journalists to continue upholding journalism ethics on fair and accurate reporting and giving every voice a chance to be heard.Post published in: News