VMCZ Reviles Arrest Of The Daily News Journalists
Ncube was picked by the police just outside the Daily news offices over the newspaper’s lead story of the 10th of November 2011 with a headline, “Chombo brags about riches”.
The paper’s editor, Mr. Gama had to surrender himself at Harare Central police station after the detectives had visited the Daily News’ offices looking for him.
This arrest of the two journalists follows the pressing of criminal defamation charges by the Minister of Local Government Dr. Ignatius Chombo over the newspaper’s lead story of the 10th of November 2011 headed, “Chombo brags about riches”.
The VMCZ called for the immediate release of Gama and Ncube and urged political leaders, persons of influence and members of the public not to seek recourse to criminal defamation charges against journalists and media houses.
The VMCZ urged members of the public to approach the Media Complaints Committee (MCC) to raise their complaints on stories that they may deem inaccurate or unfair.
VMCZ official, Laughty Dube told Radio VOP that the preference of criminal defamation charges against journalists and media houses is patently undemocratic and can only be viewed as an affront to the right to freedom of expression and access to information that is guaranteed in Section 20 of Zimbabwe’s Constitution.
“It is in this regard that the VMCZ wishes to express deep regret that political leaders would seek recourse to criminal defamation charges against journalists. Issues of grievances against the media can be resolved amicably without having to send journalists to police stations or interrogation by the police,” said Dube.
This year, a number of Journalists have been arrested, media houses denied licenses. Journalists in Zimbabwe are calling for immediate media reforms and there is an agenda under the Global Political Agreement on media reforms.
Last month, Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe issued two licenses to pro-Zanu-PF media owners, leaving others surprised with the issuance.