Accessibility links

Zimbabwe Media Reforms Blocked by Unending Negotiations in Unity Government


Authorities have not issued a single license to a private newspaper or a radio or television station since the unity government came into being in early 2009

Media reforms promised under the 2008 Global Political Agreement that laid down the rules for power sharing in the Southern African country are still awaited more than 14 months after the installation of a unity government.

A report this week by Human Rights Watch said there has been no real liberalization of the media environment and that freedom of expression remains imperiled.

Authorities have not issued a single license to a private newspaper or a radio or television station since the unity government came into being in early 2009, depriving Zimbabweans of the diverse and vibrant media they enjoyed until early in the past decade when President Robert Mugabe's government started bearing down on publications which criticized its policies.

Human Rights Watch said Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF continues to manipulate the media and that intimidation has led many journalists and media outlets to engage in self-censorship as a survival strategy.

For perspective, VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere turned to Advocacy Officer Tabani Moyo of the Media Institute of Southern Africa, and senior researcher Dewa Mavhinga of Human Rights Watch.

Moyo said media reforms have been held up due to what he calls “perpetual negotiations” among the parties in the long-troubled inclusive government.

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG