MISA Zimbabwe has condemned the ejection of seven journalists from the State House where President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed 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.
Resultantly, Alpha Media Holdings journalists Taurai Mangudhla, 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.
In a statement seen by Pindula news, MISA Zimbabwe said all journalists should be afforded fair and equal opportunities to access information. Reads the statement:
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.