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Parly blocks NewsDay reporters

Local News
new Zimbabwe parliament

NEWSDAY reporters were barred from covering President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s State of Nation Address (Sona) held at the new Parliament building in Mt Hampden yesterday.

In what now appears to be a growing trend, two NewsDay reporters Harriet Chikandiwa and Shepherd Tozvireva’s names were mysteriously removed from a list of journalists accredited to Parliament who were supposed to cover Sona.

The ban comes after six Alpha Media Holdings journalists were recently kicked out of State House where they had gone to witness the swearing in of a three-member tribunal to determine Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission spokesperson John Makamure’s fitness to hold office.

Last month, the ruling Zanu PF refused to accredit NewsDay journalists to cover the party’s elective congress, accusing the paper’s journalists of being “fiction writers”.

No explanation was given as to why the journalists were banned from covering the Sona.

Zimbabwe National Editors Forum national co-ordinator Njabulo Ncube said the decision to bar NewsDay from Sona was disturbing.

“It is another affront to the practice of journalism in the country at a time our minister (Monica Mutsvangwa) has indicated that the new dispensation does not discriminate against private media personnel. Be that as it may, we shall seek an audience with Parliament and our minister to understand why NewsDay is being treated unfairly,” Ncube said.

Zimbabwe Union of Journalists secretary-general Perfect Hlongwane said: “We have said that barring journalists from covering events is a violation of their freedoms as granted by the Constitution of the country and President Mnangagwa’s position and on Press freedom.

“As we engage authorities, we appeal that journalists be treated as professionals and be allowed to execute their work without any hindrance.”

Efforts to get a comment from Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda were fruitless as his phone was not being answered.

 

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