Latest News Editor's Choice

News / Press Release

Zanu-PF stealing from all celebration days

by Jacob Mafume
04 May 2017 at 13:42hrs | Views
Yesterday the world celebrated Press Freedom day, in Zimbabwe ZANUPF stole the celebration as they do with Christmas, Independence, Workers day among other commemorations.

A few days ago the workers on their day gathered in various places to count the costs and question the benefits, issues dominating the day were the deindustrialisation, unemployment and how the state has colluded with capital to oppress the working people.

Lamentations are even bigger on the desire for a free press. Governments with skeletons in their carpets always suppress the press.

In Zimbabwe issues of corruption, embezzlement of public funds and human rights violations are on the rise, ZANUPF suppresses access to information and the press becomes an immediate casualty.

We are aware that in the past year ZANUPF arrested and tortured scribes like James Jemwa, Philimon Jambaya, Edgar Gweshe, Paidamoyo Muzulu, Xolisani Ncube, Nqaba Matshazi among others.    

Jemwa was even tortured by state security agents before being surrendered in police custody. The state also confiscated equipment of many scribes.

The nation has for a long time urged the government to free the airwaves but the state has decided to ignore. Instead they have made half-hearted compromises by advertising radio licenses which they awarded to ZANUPF cronies like Supa Mandiwanzira and extensions like ZIMPAPERS.

With an election looming, we are aware that ZANUPF would want to do the same with television stations. We maintain that pluralism does not entail media diversity.

The world over the watch dog role of a free press is appreciated, "If you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press," Senator John McCain said in an interview recently. "And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That's how dictators get started."

A free press therefore will be required to ensure a free and fair election in 2018, ZBC as a public broadcaster must be allowed to do the work of informing the nation without ZANUPF interference.

In the Agenda for Restoration and Rehabilitation of Electoral Sustainability (ARREST) we demand the following:

The immediate opening up of the media, which is long overdue.

All political parties, civic society and other organizations must have immediate access to the National Broadcaster, the ZBC, and the radio stations in the country.

All political parties have the right to have their content aired on state stations. In the same manner, they should be allowed interviews and other airtime in both the television and radio stations in the country.

The PDP further demands that State newspapers and reporters report news in a professional and impartial manner, bias against the opposition and for ZANU PF will not ensure any electoral credibility no matter when the election is held.

The State should immediately grant the setting up of independent radio and television stations. This will ensure access to information to the people of Zimbabwe and dilute the three decades of the media bias that has prevailed in Zimbabwe.

The PDP calls upon the State to protect the freedoms of the people of Zimbabwe, politicians and non - politicians alike. The freedoms of speech, freedom of choice, freedom of association must be protected. Safety of one after exercising her freedoms must also be guaranteed.

We therefore commend the scribes who continue to work in these adverse conditions including those who went to court and successfully applied for the abolishment of criminal defamation.

Together Another Zimbabwe is Possible

Source - Jacob Mafume PDP Spokesperson