The Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) has expressed concern at the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s request to question Zimbabwe Independent Editor Constantine Chimakure and Senior Political Reporter Wongai Zhangazha in a bid to have them reveal a news source.
This followed the paper’s publication of a story on the National Youth Service in its July 8 2011 edition headlined “Ministers reject Kasukuwere plan”.
The story alleged the two MDC parties had resisted attempts by the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, Saviour Kasukuwere, to re-introduce the National Youth Service training programme, arguing it was a Zanu PF election strategy.
“The premise of the visit, which was reportedly to seek to have the two journalists reveal their sources for the story in question, is patently undemocratic and is against the spirit and letter of Section 20 of Zimbabwe’s Constitution, Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights as well as Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all of which guarantee every Zimbabwean the right to receive and impart information,” read the VMCZ statement.
The CID detectives, however, told Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) chief executive officer Raphael Khumalo they wanted the two to assist in investigations of who “leaked” the details of the story as it was based on Cabinet deliberations, which they said was an offence under the Official Secrets Act.
AMH are the publishers of the Zimbabwe Independent, The Standard and the country’s most popular daily — NewsDay.
Yesterday, Khumalo said: “The visit was not right. In my view, we are the only media organisation in the country that has had so many visits by the police. This is really uncalled for.
“It is about time that political parties joined in to condemn this kind of action.”