MISA Zimbabwe is deeply disturbed by the press statement issued on 24 September 2017 by Minister of Home Affairs Dr Ignatius Chombo concerning the press and social media reports on the obtaining socio-economic and political environment.
Minister Chombo is on record accusing the press and social media of spreading alarm and despondency and warning that government would take “decisive action to deal a telling blow” to the perpetrators of crime.
The minister’s statement poses a serious threat against the exercise of freedom of expression on the part of both the citizens and the media as provided for in Sections 61 and 62 of the Zimbabwean Constitution.
MISA Zimbabwe views this statement as calculated to instil self-censorship on the part of both the individual and the media to curb the free flow of information on pertinent socio-economic and political issues.
Citizens have the right to freely express themselves online and offline while the media has the right to truthfully report and inform the nation on events as they unfold without fear and undue hindrances as constitutionally guaranteed.