Addressing Zanu (PF) supporters in Umguza constituency at the weekend at a meeting organised by the local legislator Obert Mpofu, Khaya-Moyo warned journalists who criticise the country’s police, soldiers and central intelligence organization saying they won’t be tolerated.
“In some countries if you criticise security forces you won’t last a day you will be crashed. I warn journalists in the private media to stop this, because it won’t be tolerated.
“You hear them talk about press freedom. What press freedom?” Asked Khaya-Moyo.
Khaya-Moyo’s sentiments come at a time when there is serious police crackdown on journalists. The Standard senior reporter Nqobani Ndlovu spent nine days in prison before his editor Nevanji Madanhire was locked up in police cells.
Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe Chapter chairperson Loughty Dube blasted Khaya-Moyo saying he did not expect such a malicious statement from a party chairman.
“This is a malicious statement from a senior party officials, which is meant to create alarm and also endangering journalists at a time when the country is planning for next year elections.
“We condemn such reckless statements,” said Dube.
Since the talk about possible elections by President Robert Mugabe, the harassment of journalists by police has increased.
Earlier this month, freelance journalists, Nkosana Dlamini and Andreson Manyere were arrested in Harare and held overnight before being charged with “criminal nuisance.”
On the same day, another freelance journalist, Sydney Saize, was beaten up, robbed and injured in Mutare.
A Masvingo journalist was on Sunday severely beaten up at a Zanu (PF) provincial meeting attended by Moyo and two party’s politburo members and ministers Webster Shamu and Stan Mudenge.