VMCZ World Press Freedom Day statement

The Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) joins all Zimbabweans and the rest of the world in commemorating World Press Freedom Day, on May 3 2012. This year’s commemorations occur under one of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) theme, “Media Freedom has the power to transform societies’. This theme cannot be more apt for Zimbabweans and Zimbabwean media as it comes when the country is faced with important decisions concerning impo

It is therefore the VMCZ’s strong view that the Zimbabwean media plays a key role in ensuring that the above cited national challenges are understood in a participatory manner by the Zimbabwean public. In order to perform this democratic role, Zimbabwe’s media must therefore be allowed to function in the best public interest and without undue interference by the state.

In Zimbabwe’s case this would essentially entail that the Government and Parliament must undertake policy reforms that seeks to achieve the following:

1. • The de-criminalization of freedom of expression via the repeal of undemocratic media regulatory laws such as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the Public Order and Security Act (POSA)

2. • The Embracing of media self-regulation as best democratic practice

3. • The recognition and enactment of the right to media freedom as an ancillary to the right to freedom of expression in the constitution

Where the Government and Parliament of Zimbabwe adopts the above cited recommendations, our country’s media environment will be democratically conducive for greater public access to information as well as the greater enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression by all Zimbabweans.

It is also VMCZ’s firm view and belief that media self-regulation is the most democratic solution to challenges that Zimbabwe’s media profession currently faces.

We also believe that all Zimbabwean journalists are capable of reporting fairly, accurately and in the best public interest without the threat of arrest or the criminalisation of freedom of expression. Because of this, we urge all Zimbabweans to actively seek to promote media self-regulation as a key ingredient to the enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression. By so doing, we will all have remained true to this year's World Press Freedom Day theme and will also have begun to transform Zimbabwe into a truly democratic society.

A. Muchadehama

(VMCZ Board Chairperson)

Post published in: News
  1. Pythias Makonese

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