Police in Zimbabwe ban Press Freedom Day march

via Police ban Press Freedom Day march | The Zimbabwean 03.05.14

Police today banned a World Press Freedom Day march organised by Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (Zacras) and the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ).

The last minute ban came despite the police having cleared the march on April 16.

Journalists participating in the march gathered at the corner of Chinhoyi and Robert Mugabe roads in Harare in the morning but found anti-riot police already deployed at the venue.

The police produced a letter dated May 2 but with a May 3 date stamp informing the journalists that the roadshow had been cancelled, reportedly because of other events of national interest.

It was not clear, however, which events the police were referring to.

“The ban of the Zacras and MAZ function flies against the spirit of press freedom and access to information which is universally celebrated annually on the 3rd of May. The ban is an outright violation of constitutional provisions which seek to promote media freedom and access to information,” said the conveners of the march in a statement following a press conference.

“The irony of the development is not only that it violates the rights of media to celebrate a day set aside for them, but that it also happens at a time when the Information and Media Panel of Inquiry(IMPI) is conducting countrywide visits to gather citizens’ views on the state of media in Zimbabwe. As media organisations, we then wonder if the work of IMPI is genuine or a face saver,” further read the statement.

The conveners regretted that, a year after the adoption of a new constitution that guarantees media freedom, there were no improvements to media regulation.

“Media space, especially in broadcasting, is still constricted. Journalists are still being arrested as they would still have been, in 2008. We have not seen any huge appetite to align our media laws to the new constitution,” said the statement.

The marchers urged government to remove repressive media legislation, promote and respect freedom of expression and access to information and license community radios “as a matter of urgency”.

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10 comments on “Police in Zimbabwe ban Press Freedom Day march
  1. Hutu says:

    Which country in the world do you get Police continuously banning? Zimbabwe..Which country utilizes it’s riot police when the is no riot? Zimbabwe. Which country beats up it,s women on Valentines Day(THE DAY OF LOVE) Zimbabwe. Who rules in Zimbabwe? ZANU PF. Who is the leader of Zanu. Robert Mugabe. Who is the problem? Morgan Tswangirayi?NOOO..Robert Mugabe.

  2. Tjingababili says:

    COMPLIMENTS OF ROBBERS AND MUGGERS PVT LTD!

  3. Owen says:

    Police ban Freedom.

  4. John Thomas says:

    Judging by the poor quality of much of the output of the local media the journalists might productively put some time into learning their trade. There is no substitute for real investigation and fact checking.

    They might also try a bit more of presenting the facts for people to make up their own minds and cut down on the uninformed opinion.

    As to the governments attempts to control the media space. This is a lost battle. Soon everybody will have access to free radio and tv on their phones from low flying satellites. This will present more problems for the local media fraternity, since their output is so poor they will fail to find an audience.

  5. Jrr56 says:

    Who was surprised?

  6. munzwa says:

    So what is new?? All much of the same unless we get substantive opposition….Is Morgan the man or will he be absorbed by zanu??

  7. gary says:

    high time we as Zimbabweans take action as a nation and not be exploited by the same people we vote into power..we cant expect Morgan..to do it alone,, high time we become responsible citizens and say No to Nonsense!!!

  8. Petal says:

    This is already telling you there is no freedom of expression. the march could be a peaceful march and it is banned what a bunch of toss pots scared the truth will come out -full stop
    Journalism is not a Crime the Media group should just carry on until the air waves are freed

  9. Petal says:

    In other words No Democracy Icho!

  10. Petal says:

    Don’t these buffoons realise that the Media informs?!!

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