CHINHOYI — Efforts to realign Zimbabwe’s media industry with best international practices and trends have largely been politicised to reflect the power struggle in the unity government.
Addressing stakeholders in Chinhoyi on Monday, Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) executive director Takura Zhangazha said the inclusive government had failed to implement media reforms it promised at its formation in 2009.
He said plans by the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) to set up a statutory media ethics council would undermine the promotion of a professional, ethical and independent media.
“The ZMC is going around the country, presenting a symbolic picture of consultation, to mobilise media players to endorse the establishment under the draconian Aippa (Acess to Information and Protection of Privacy Act) of a Media Council, which would criminalise the profession,” he said.
“We are opposing this as ZMC is trying to criminalise professional mistakes by invoking statutory provisions,” said Zhangazha, who also deplored the recent arrest Nevanji Madanhire, editor of The Standard and reporter Nqaba Matshazi.
Madanhire and Matshazi were last week released on $100 bail each after they were charged with criminal defamation and theft in connection with a story about a medical insurance company owned by Reserve Bank of Zimbawe advisor Munyaradzi Kereke.
On Tuesday, the pair was slapped with another criminal defamation charge this time at the instigation of co-Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi in a separate case.