ZMC reports the Zimbabwean to the police

The Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) reported The Zimbabwean and a south African newspaper to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) in an attempt to bar the newspapers from entering and circulating in the country.

In an affidavit deposed to police at Harare Central police station, Godfrey Majonga, the chairman of the ZMC, accused the Zimbabwean and the Sunday Times of carrying out news gathering in the country without registration and licensing in contravention of the country’s obnoxious media laws.

Majonga complained to the police that journalists working for the Sunday Times were using false names and “do not respect the laws of the land.”

“The ZMC is charged with the national constitutional responsibility to keep an accurate register of all mass media services operating in Zimbabwe and all journalists carrying out newsgathering in Zimbabwe at anytime. Those registers must be accurate and up to date. The ways in which the Sunday Times, The Zimbabwean and their reporters have operated hinder the proper operations of the Commission.

Other authorities, such as the Department of Immigration, rely on such information in order also to meet their mandate. The ways in which the Sunday Times and The Zimbabwean operate make it impossible for the ZMC to create and keep accurate registers in terms of the laws of Zimbabwe,” Majonga wrote in his affidavit to the police, which was seen by Radio VOP.

Majonga also reported Munn Marketing, a subsidiary of Alpha Media Holdings and the distributors of the Sunday Times to the police for allegedly playing the role of publisher of the South African weekly.

The ZMC boss charged that Munn Marketing had collected some registration forms on behalf of the Sunday Times from its offices but the newspaper had not registered with the media policing body.

“This raises the question whether or not the penalties for operating a mass media service without registration, as outlined in Section 72, should apply.

The address for Munn Marketing is stand 225, Harrow road Masasa, Unit 3 and 4 Beverley east. I make this statement consciously, believing the same to be true,” reads part of Majonga’s affidavit.

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