PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s security personnel yesterday barred journalists from the independent Press from covering the launch of Zupco buses at Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) by the Zanu PF leader.
BY NUNURAI JENA
The unprecedented move followed a scathing attack on members of the Fourth Estate by Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe early this week, who accused sections of the media of being used to peddle falsehoods by some “diplomatic missions accredited to Harare”.
Mnangagwa’s security blocked journalists from entering the CUT campus at around 9am for a function scheduled to start at 10am, claiming they were late for the event.
About 10 journalists waited at the gate hoping there could be a change of mind, but the security details were menacing, telling the journalists to leave or risk unspecified
One of the journalists, who refused to be named for fear of victimisation, said the working environment was getting dangerous in the so-called “new dispensation”.
“Mnangagwa’s new dispensation is more dangerous to journalists than the old dispensation of Mugabe (the late former President),” the journalist said.
Zimbabwe Union of Journalists secretary-general Foster Dongozi said the move by Mnangagwa security was unacceptable and not doing Zimbabwe a favour.
“That is totally unacceptable behaviour from the security department who were barring journalists and as you are aware, journalists are classified as essential service,” Dongozi said.
Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa was unreachable. Media Institute of Southern Africa Zimbabwe chapter director Tabani Moyo said it was worrying that journalists were denied the right to cover the President.