Members of the Information and Media Panel of Inquiry (Impi) were on Thursday forced to call off their outreach meeting scheduled for Mai Musodzi Hall in Mbare after suspected Zanu PF youths stormed the venue and protested for not being involved.
Impi chairman Geoffrey Nyarota confirmed the disturbances, adding that they had rescheduled the meeting to Friday at the same venue after consulting the ruling party youths.
“Members of our delegation came across Zanu PF youths who requested that we move the meeting to tomorrow(Friday). Their major issue was that the meeting was organised without consultations with them,” Nyarota said.
“Now they have taken over the task of mobilising residents for tomorrow (today)’s meeting. While it was not their responsibility to do so, members of the delegation thought it wise to abide by the request and the youths promised to bring larger numbers of people to the meeting.”
The Impi delegation, which comprised mainly senior journalists and editors, has been holding outreach programmes in many parts of the country to gather public views on various issues concerning the media.
Impi comprises of several senior journalists and experts from other professions.
The media inquiry board was constituted last year by the Information, Media and Broadcasting Services ministry to assess the state of the information and media industry in Zimbabwe.
Impi has had its fair share of troubles with questions raised in Parliament concerning its funding and the “exravagant” allowances paid to its panellists at a time when government was struggling to pay civil service salaries.
Zimbabwe Media Commission chairperson Godfrey Majonga has raised concern that the media inquiry board was duplicating his commission’s mandate.