MASVINGO – The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has backtracked on its decision to charge journalists, civil society and election observers who want to cover elections and by-elections in US dollars after TellZim News a Masvingo based newspaper wrote a story about the matter.
Earlier this year the government passed the Statutory Instrument 142 which barred the use of foreign currency on domestic transactions.
However, ZEC ignored the instrument and continued to charge for accreditation in US dollars and journalists had to pay US$10 or the equivalent in RTGS dollar for accreditation to cover elections.
In July this year, all journalists and other civic organisations and election observers who wanted to cover the Bikita Ward 31 by-election had to pay in US dollars or the market rate equivalent in RTGS dollar.
This development raised the ire of many stakeholders and TellZim reported about the issue to much effect.
People who will cover the Zaka East parliamentary by-election on September 21 are being charged only RTGS$10.
A source in the electoral management body made a confidential revelation that the TellZim story had shaken many ‘important’ people in the organisation leading to the reversal of the decision.
The story, which was headlined ‘Zec ignores SI 142, charges accreditation fees in US dollars’, was published on Friday, July 12, and was widely shared on various social media platforms.
The story can be accessed on the below link.