After the Zanu PF press conference that warned/threatened members of the media particularly Hopewell Chin’ono on his exposé of gross misconduct in the COVID-19 material procurement, MISA Zimbabwe has on its websites urged aggrieved parties to desist from threatening journalists and lodge complaints with the body.
MISA Zimbabwe said:
MISA Zimbabwe urges any aggrieved parties, including political parties, to file complaints with the media self-regulatory body, the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe, for amicable resolution and appropriate professional remedies in the event they are not happy with the authenticity and accuracy of published stories or allegations.
Threats have the potential of instilling fear and media self-censorship which undermines the media’s watchdog role over the Executive, media freedom, and, ultimately citizens’ right to information as provided for by the Constitution.
We equally urge political parties to exercise caution and restraint when handling the media. Threats of this nature have the potential of exposing the journalist to harm as supporters of the party might take a cue from their leadership and take the law into their own hands.
We, therefore, call for the political formations in Zimbabwe to uphold the constitutional provisions of the country that protects the media and see to it that journalists are allowed to perform their duties in line with this year’s UNESCO’s global Word Press Freedom Day theme – reporting without fear or favour.
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