Mutsvangwa: State media journalists have green light to be political

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

THERE is no law which stops State media journalists from participating in political contests, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.

Mutsvangwa was appearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Broadcasting Services, chaired by Binga North MP, Prince Dubeko Sibanda.

The Information Minister said all what State media personnel had to do was seek leave to take part in their chosen political processes.

Sibanda had asked whether journalists working for State media were allowed to participate in political contests and still be able to return to their jobs after losing.

“ZBC employees are just like everyone else. They are Zimbabweans, they are free to participate in political parties of their choice,” Mutsvangwa told the committee.

“And if they want to participate in politics, obviously, they need to do this during their vacation days, which they get from the executive of ZBC. If they win, they have to resign. If they lose, there is no law that stops them to come back in the newsroom, I think that is how I can put it.”

Ahead of the 2018 general elections, several journalists from both public and private media opted for politics but quickly came back in the newsrooms after losing the contests.

Three ZBC reporters and one from the Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers) stable contested in the Zanu PF primary elections in which they all lost.

Reporters Tendai Munengwa, Andrew Neshamba (Zanu PF Mt Darwin South), Radio Zimbabwe disc jockey Richmond Siyakurima (Zanu PF Uzumba) and Garikai Mazara Sunday Mail Features Editor (Zanu PF Guruve) all took part in the Zanu PF primaries.

Other journalists from the private media who participated in the primary elections of their respective political parties are Stanley Karombo, (Zanu PF Shamva North), Tawanda Munyikwa and Owen Matava (MDC Kwekwe Central).