The Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ) has criticised the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe for threatening to take unspecified “strong countermeasures” against a local weekly publication, The Standard.
MAZ described the threat as an attack on press freedom adding that Zimbabwe’s constitution protects the practice of journalism and related freedoms. MAZ said in a statement:
While it is not peculiar that any individual, organisation or even state can have issues with aspects in part or whole of a news story, it is unacceptable to charge the media with unspecified actions.
… MAZ is, thus, taken aback by the intention of a foreign state, in the mould of a global power to counter a national media outlet with unspecified measures.
It is more so worrying that the threats are issued without exhausting legal remedies provided by the host nation.
Outside this diplomatic imperative, there are democratic ways in which any grievances against the media can be tabled.
MAZ advised the Chinese Embassy to take professional routes to air its grievances rather than resorting to threatening the media.
The Chinese Embassy issued a statement last week, warning The Standard, following the publication of a series of reports exposing unlawful activities by Chinese mining companies operating in Zimbabwe.
More: The Standard