NewsDay barred from Zanu PF congress

Tafadzwa Mugwadi

ZANU PF has refused to accredit NewsDay journalists to cover its elective congress which begins today in the capital.

Party spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa said the party’s politburo meeting yesterday resolved to bar the privately-owned daily from covering the event.

‘’For your own information we have not refused anyone registration except for one particular publication which we feel prefers to write fiction rather than to follow events in the party, if we invite them they will also write fiction,” Mutsvangwa said referring to NewsDay.

‘So, this is where we are. Even the Voice of America will be there and even foreign correspondents. We have no problem with critical journalism but we don’t tolerate invented stories when we have Press conferences. We also need to be criticised but not on fictitious stories.”

Zanu PF information director Tafadzwa Mugwadi said: “The matter was an issue in the politburo. When this is discussed in the politburo then it’s a serious issue and a cause for concern. I think this is the time for the publication to reflect.”

Other private media houses, NewsHawks and NewZimbabwe were also denied accreditation on Monday.

The ruling party accuses private media of being hostile.

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Zimbabwe chairperson, Golden Maunganidze described the developments as an attack on the media which would fuel media polarisation.

“As Misa Zimbabwe we are concerned to see this culture which keeps on continuing among either political parties, or other organisations discriminating or dividing journalists saying we want these ones and we don’t want these ones.

“This brings polarisation which is unhealthy in our country. Journalists should be treated fairly,” Maunganidze said. 

“Zanu PF congress is very important in terms of the outcomes that have a bearing on people’s expectations. They trigger national interests among Zimbabweans and journalists should be there and be allowed to cover events.

“As Misa we will continue to lobby and engage opinion leaders within political leaders for them to understand the critical role that journalists play. We encourage journalists to always carry their identification and accreditation cards to minimise harm by those who might think they are not journalists."

State security officers recently kicked out Alpha Media Holdings journalists from a State House event.


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