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Zanu PF 2022 Congress: Private media barred from covering event

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By Staff Reporters


VARIOUS local independent media houses, wrongly viewed as appendages of opposition forces, have been barred from attending the Zanu PF Congress set for Robert Mugabe Square in Harare.

The event, which kicks off Thursday, was preceded by the last Zanu PF Politburo meeting Wednesday, before selection of new members into the elite organ.

Select media institutions were denied access to the potentially explosive indaba, which is billed to endorse President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the ruling party’s sole candidate for 2023 presidential elections.

Independent media were denied access despite having fulfilled all the paperwork required by the party’s information department.

NewZimbabwe.com, and TechMag are among a host of other media houses that were barred from covering the congress.

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Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe Chapter Chairperson, Golden Maunganidze condemned the segregation and discrimination of journalists by political parties.

“We strongly condemn issues of discrimination by organisations. We would like to encourage political parties to treat journalists fairly despite their media organisations and allow them to do their work.

“Moreso, when we talk about Zanu PF, we are looking at a ruling party which must lead by example, in terms of the treatment of media personnel. They must understand that whatever happens at their congress is of national interest,” said Maunganidze.

Recently Alpha Media Holdings journalists were denied access to State House for the swearing-in ceremony of a tribunal to probe suitability to continue holding office of Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC)’s John Makamure.

With 2023 elections beckoning, the illtreatment of journalists will remain under spotlight.

Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) this year also denied coverage by a State media news crew.

Commenting on the latest violation by Zanu PF, Young Journalists Association (YOJA) president, Richard Zimunya called for engagements between political parties and media organisations.

“It is something we are against as YOJA. We can only have balanced reporting when media houses are offered platforms to cover any event. We will advocate as an association that the discrimination comes to an end.

“We have to engage all political parties to ensure fair treatment of journalists. Media provides checks and balances, and that can only happen when journalists are given free and unfettered access,” said Zimunya.