Don’t muzzle the watchdog

Today, the world celebrates Press Freedom Day. As evidenced by the opposition to it from corrupt and despotic politicians the world over, Press Freedom is an essential ingredient in any democracy – be it established or fledgling. It is also vital for national development.

A free media means that journalists and other media practitioners such as artists and writers, are able to gather, relay and express information and opinions without undue interference or systematic inhibition.

In Zimbabwe we still have a complex web of politicians and even corporate leaders who view free media as enemies. This, clearly, is because of the role that the media plays as watchdog in society. It is our task to throw open the dark cupboards and lay bare the excesses, corruption and undesirable shenanigans of all – especially those in authority, who have been elected by the people and are paid by our tax dollars.

Those that hate the media are, in essence, the enemies of society. A politician who wants to silence the media is the worst adversary of national development because he is guided by sinister, selfish or sectarian intentions that he wants kept out of the public eye.

The failure to open up the airwaves, introduce enabling legislation, and let media practitioners operate without hindrance, is a blot on our nation. We fail to understand why it seems so difficult for those in authority to appreciate the simple fact that the more you try to choke media freedom – as with any other freedoms – the more people will fight for it.

The human spirit was created to be free – and nothing can stop that. The brave words of one of many political prisoners in our jails today, Solomon Madzore, published in this issue are testimony to this.

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga
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  1. Stephen EK

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