Media ban shows something to hide

Analysts say the banning of journalists from Chingwizi holding camp shows that the government has something to hide.

Kudakwashe Bhasikiti
Kudakwashe Bhasikiti

The Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti says only those journalists authorized by him will be allowed to cover events at the camp, where at least 3,000 families displaced by the Tokwe-Mukose floodwaters have been since January.

Media organisations have accused the minister of trying to hide what is happening at the transit camp, where he and other officials have been accused of looting donations.

The Media Institute of Southern Africa MISA Zimbabwe urged Bhaisikiti to lift the ban unconditionally and allow the media to cover the bad and good things happening at the holding camp. The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists has also condemned the move.

The people at the holding camp have also denounced the media blackout arguing that government officials, including cabinet ministers, were looting the donated goods meant to benefit them.

"We want the media to cover what is happening here because we know of government officers including policemen and ministers who are abusing the donated goods,” said one of the victims.

Bhasikiti denied the allegations, claiming "All our books are open for inspection and so far no abuse or looting of goods has been detected.”

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