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Journalists: Zimbabwe Should Repeal Stiff Media Laws

  • Mavis Gama

Zimbabwean journalists today renewed their calls for the government to repeal draconian media laws such as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act ahead of crucial elections expected sometime this year.

The scribes had gathered at a public lecture in memory of the late veteran journalist, Bornwell Chakaodza, who succumbed to cancer last year.

Guest speaker Settlement Chikwinya, chairman of the parliamentary portfolio committee on media, bemoaned the lack of media reforms in the country, which the unity government has failed to implement since they came into office some four years ago.

Mr. Chikwinya blamed politicians for flouting even the draconian pieces of legislation they put in place for their own selfish benefits.

Zimbabwe Media Council commissioner and lawyer, Chris Mhike, said some of the issues journalists have been complaining about have been dealt with in the new constitution.

Media organizations represented at the event agreed more still needs to be done to rid the country of repressive media laws or at least repeal some of them so journalists are free to do their work without fear.

Journalists said they are concerned the political environment is becoming more volatile as the country heads for elections.

The event was organized by the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe and the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe under the theme ‘Safe to speak: Securing freedom of expression in all media’.