Zimbabwe – Worst Offender Of Media Freedom

In a report ahead of World Freedom Day on Tuesday, MISA noted in its report “The media under siege – a journey through the media environment in Southern Africa”, that it had recorded about 27 Alerts in Zimbabwe during 2010.

“The media still suffers repression through arrest and prosecution of journalists. In 2010 alone, there have been 13 arrests of journalists in Zimbabwe, compared to 7 cases of detention in 2009 statistics,” it noted.

Journalists such as Andrison Manyere, Nunurai Jena, Kudakweshe Zvarayi, Flata Kavinga, Nkosana Dhlamini, Dumisani Sibinda, Nqobani Ndlovu and Nevanji Madanhire had suffered detention in their lines of duty at the hands of security agents in Zimbabwe.

MISA said this was a sign that the coalition government had completely failed to protect media freedom in Zimbabwe.

“Since the beginning of the coalition government the number of threats against journalists has continued to rise up.”

Zimbabwe established a statutory Zimbabwe Media Commission to control the media by statute through the draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) thereby violating the international principles of independent and free media that was supposed to exist in Zimbabwe. ZMC has since imposed heavier registration and accreditation fees to journalists who intend to operate in Zimbabwe.

According to MISA this process is seen as a tool through which the government intends to dispel more journalists from operating in Zimbabwe.

The broadcasting sector in Zimbabwe is still to be liberalised.