The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has denounced the ruling political party in Zimbabwe, ZANU-PF, for denying local independent media houses accreditation to cover their elective congress currently underway in Harare.
In an exclusive interview with Scrolla.Africa, MISA Zimbabwe chapter chairperson, Golden Maunganidze, said the denial of access to cover the ZANU-PF congress is an attack on independent media houses.
“It’s crystal clear that the ruling party is trying to hide something which they don’t want private media organisations to cover and the denial for coverage by independent media houses is an attack.
“What ZANU-PF has done is a clear sign that there could be other sinister things that they don’t want covered by private media organisations, which is worrisome. They are hiding something, obviously bad things,” he said.
Maunganidze said all journalists should be treated fairly and respected and not be divided by political parties.
“We have always pleaded with the political parties to respect journalists and to treat them fairly. We don’t take it lightly when the media is being divided by political parties. We want a situation where journalists are allowed to cover all events and should not be discriminated against according to their employers,” he added.
Scrolla.Africa, TechMag and NewsDay are among independent media houses that were barred from covering the ZANU-PF congress.
The Young Journalists Association (YOJA) president, Richard Zimunya condemned ZANU-PF’s ban and called for engagements between political parties and media organisations.
“As YOJA, we call what ZANU-PF did as segregation within the media fraternity. We don’t accept that, especially during the second republic government, which has been pushing for the media to be free,” he said.
Zimunya added that the main opposition Citizen for Coalition Change (CCC) recently held a press conference and barred state media from covering the event.
“It’s a growing crisis that needs to be looked into and as YOJA we will do our best to engage all political parties and enlighten them on the importance of the media houses in covering the forthcoming elections,” he said.