Zimbabwe Journos Chased Away From Constitutional Meeting

An unidentified war veteran stood up halfway in the meeting and ordered all journalists out after the party members started hurling insults at Parliamentary Select Committee co-chairperson, Paul Mangwana, who is legislator for Chivi Central, accusing him of conniving with Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) MPs to swindle the Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) of thousands of dollars in allowances.

“Can all the journalists excuse us at this time as this is a Zanu PF thing? We can see you are taking notes, but we are doing our things as a party and we do not want anything that is happening here to be written in the press,” a war vet said, before his motion was seconded by other party hardliners.

Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Zimbabwe) provincial chairman Energy Bara condemned the harassment of the journalists, who are considered to be the fourth estate.

“I am in Harare but I have been briefed about the incident. We condemn the harassment of the journalists in the strongest words. We wonder what Zanu PF was hiding from the press…it shows that they have a lot of skeletons in their cupboard,” Bara said.

Mangwana blasted the privately owned Standard newspaper over its article on the alleged mismanagement of COPAC funds by the parliamentarians.

The meeting, according to Mangwana, was meant to ‘launch the party’s public education program’ on the upcoming constitution making process and ‘inform Zanu PF members what to tell the constitutional team when it visits the province.

About 100 people, including Masvingo Governor and Resident Minister Titus Maluleke, attended the function.