Harassment, arrests worry VMCZ

2014 marked another year of a difficult media environment in the country as cases of intimidation, harassment and arrest of journalists continued unabated despite explicit guarantees for better conditions.

Loughty Dube
Loughty Dube

Loughty Dube, Executive Director of the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe, said the government should speedily implement the media reforms enshrined in the new constitution.

“This year has not been easy for the media in this country. Firstly with the advent of a new constitution that clearly guarantees media freedoms and access to information, one would be forgiven for thinking that the challenges facing the media are a thing of the past.

“However, despite these explicit constitutional guarantees, the media is still subjected to intimidation using the same old laws that still exist. The re-alignment and amendments of repressive media has not begun at all and the wait for authorities to give us these freedoms continues,” he said.

Dube also expressed concern over the reluctance by government to end the monopoly of the national broadcaster, ZBC, through licensing of other television stations.

“We still have our one and only television station ZTV. Community radio stations are still not licensed and there is no indication that they would be anytime soon,” he said.

Since the beginning of the year, several journalists have been subjected to arbitrary arrests and other forms of harassments and intimidation at the hands of the police.

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