Six journalists from private media houses were on the 17th of October 2022 barred from covering an event that was happening at the State House. President Emmerson Mnangagwa was on this day appointing a Tribunal to inquire into the removal from office of Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission’s Spokesperson John Makamure.
The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr Nick Mangwana had earlier shared the details of this event on his personal Twitter page and indicated that ‘Media is invited’.
However, upon arriving at the State House and undergoing all the required procedures, it is reported that one of the security officers then asked for press cards. As a result, Alpha Media Holdings journalists Shepherd Tozvireva, Blessed Mhlanga and Chengeto Chidi, Daily News reporter Katty Nyoni and Heart and Soul TV journalists Zibusiso Ncube and Atricia Gondo were then kicked out.
The journalists highlighted that the security officer indicated that there were specific media houses that were welcome at this event. Journalists from state media representing ZTN, ZBC and The Herald were allowed to remain and cover the event.
MISA Zimbabwe position
MISA Zimbabwe condemns this continuation of discrimination against private media. All media practitioners, whether from state or private media, have a constitutional right to seek, receive and impart information as part of their media freedom.
The Constitution is very clear in Section 44 that the State and every person, including juristic persons and every institution and agency of the government at every level, must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights and freedoms set out in the Constitution.
There is, therefore no lawful, reasonable or justifiable basis for the discrimination of journalists from private media and the infringement to the realisation of their constitutional rights.
MISA Zimbabwe calls on all stakeholders within government, including the Zimbabwe Media Commission and the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services to undertake key and practical steps towards addressing this recurring media violation.
All journalists should be afforded fair and equal opportunities to access information.
SOS journalists hotline
If you are injured, detained or arrested in the line of duty, call our 24/7 SOS journalist hotline on 0784 437 338 to access legal and/or medical assistance. Don’t forget to have the number saved in your phone for emergencies!