Journalists’s safety remains an essentialissue, the Zimbabwean Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, senator Monica Mutsvangwa has said.
Mutsvangwa also reiterated on the important role played by news reporters in information dissemination.
She made the remarks while addressing media stakeholders during the commemorations of the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) in Harare this morning.
The minister told the stakeholders that the Information ministry had developed a cordial working relationship with media practitioners. She added:
It is my fervent hope that the good relationship continues and together we ensure that universal access to information is enjoyed by all citizens of Zimbabwe.
Mutsvangwa makes these remarks at the backdrop of reports suggesting that journalists in the country are being harassed and brutalised by political parties and state security officers even when they are on duty.
A number of assault cases were reported while some were even heard before the courts of law.
Of particular importance, perhaps, are the cases of award-winning journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and Blessed Mhlanga of ZimLive.
Chin’ono was arrested and imprisoned for rallying the citizenry to participate in the foiled 31 July anti-corruption protests while Mhlanga’s family was harassed by state security forces as a way to force him to surrender himself to authorities.
The two journalists were among those who had been instrumental in exposing grand corruption in the country, prompting some analysts to argue that they are being persecuted for exposing corruption.
More: The Herald