Ex-Information Minister Jonathan Moyo’s media reign of terror worried Zanu PF – says party Secretary General 

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By Leopold Munhende, Chief Correspondent

ZANU PF Secretary General Obert Mpofu has revealed his party was concerned by exiled former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo’s hardline stance on the media which included tough laws that affected its development in the early 2000s.

Moyo spearheaded the promulgation of laws such as Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), Broadcasting Services Act of 2001 and Public Order and Security Act (POSA) that heavily impacted freedom of the media and its growth.

A 2001 bombing of then popular independently owned paper Daily News’ printing press has also been blamed on him. He argues he played no role in the arson.

Moyo has also denied being architect of AIPPA, POSA and BSA.

From within Zanu PF, Eddison Zvogbo was noted as the only one who raised issues with Moyo’s efforts, describing AIPPA as a ‘calculated and determined assault on liberties guaranteed by the constitution.’

“You see there are certain policy positions that we also did not agree with during the time of Professor Jonathan Moyo,” said Mpofu.

“They really created a problem in the journalism fraternity and because there was not much lobbying against them, they pass and created a few challenges for us.”

Mpofu was speaking at a Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ) organised meeting on how the party could ensure safety and professional treatment of journalists towards, during and after this year’s elections.

He told representatives of the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ), Zimbabwe National Editors Forum (ZINEF), Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe and senior reporters current Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa was willing to correct Moyo’s errors.

Added Mpofu: “Now the current Minister is willing to listen and correct. That is the position of the President, let us agree to disagree and let go of this business of making enemies among ourselves.

“We will certainly consider your submissions, and in some cases write to us. We meet every Monday to discuss all this. We welcome that position.”

He was responding to a request by MISA Advocacy Officer Malvern Mukudu that they do not push for clawback laws that reverse gains made through the repeal of AIPPA such as the Cyber and Data Protection Act.

Mkudu also appealed with Zanu PF to use its majority in ensuring the Zimbabwe Media Practitioners Bill sails through so as to effect co-regulation of the industry.