Private media journalists were today, 16 October barred from entering the Commission of Inquiry into the post-election violence that took place on August 1, 2018, in Harare, which is scheduled to conduct public hearings at the Cresta Hotel, Msasa, Harare. The police details at the entrance only allowed the state-owned media into the venue.
This is disconcerting as it is an inquiry that is supposed to draw participation from the public. Particularly worrying is that trend in such conduct by the institutions established by the government and public officials. The same situation prevailed on the 5th of October 2017, when the then Vice President, who is the current head of State and Government, Emmerson Mnangagwa barred private media from his press conference.
It is therefore of MISA Zimbabwe’s concern that this action by the commission perpetuates a very dangerous precedent where such attitudes may cascade down to other government structures, effectively heightening the levels of media polarisation.