ZOCC files urgent chamber application over media accreditation

By Sean Moyo
The Zimbabwe Online Content Creators (ZOCC), has filed an urgent chamber application to challenge the recently promulgated new accreditation criteria by the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC).
The new regulations would see accreditation criteria altered and split into different categories, some of which would disadvantage online content creators as they would fail access certain state events.
ZOCC views these changes as counter productive and reduces media freedoms and rights as espoused in various statutes, of which Zimbabwe is a signatory.
ZOCC president Toneo  Rutsito said that the move by the ZMC is illegal and is likely to be abused to the disadvantage of various online content creators, on whose behalf the court action is being made.
  “ZMC is only empowered to accredit local and foreign journalists  according to Statutory Instrument  169C of 2002, the introductions of other categories are in  violation of  section 61 and  62 of the Zimbabwe constitution; needless to say, if goes unchallenged, the  ZOCC members will be discriminated and denied access from state  events on the basis of ID colour”, said the ZOCC president.
“This can not be allowed to go unchallenged as our members are already being  denied access to certain state events on borderline frivolous grounds.” he continued.
“ZOCC strongly believes in the  freedom of media and upholding of ethical, credible and  balanced  journalism,  as cornerstone values that  build and  strengthen the media  society.
“We yearn for  an era where media laws are relaxed or repealed and allow each and every media practitioner to self regulate as they continue to play their  pivotal role of the fourth estate” added Toneo.
ZOCC is a voluntary  association of Online Content  Creators  comprised of bloggers, vlogers, animators, graphics players amongst others who predominantly  publish their  creativity on the Internet.
We had hoped that the  current negotiations between the ZMC and MISA would bring closure to the matter without any need to drag each other to the courts but however the  discussions did not yield a favorable response and its now a threat to our existence.