Zanu PF commissar threatens journalists
Zanu PF national deputy political commissar Omega Hungwe warned journalists in the southern town of Masvingo that she would deal with them if they reported her remarks on how her party would win the 2018 elections.
In their editions of 25 and 26 January 2018, respectively, The Mirror and TellZim, privately owned weeklies based in Masvingo Province, reported that Hungwe issued the threats during a provincial inter-district meeting at Masvingo Polytechnic last weekend.
This came as she was reportedly explaining how Zanu PF would win the elections by coming up with its own voters roll by ensuring that every member of its cell structures produces a registration slip to ensure they are registered to vote.
She threatened the journalists against reporting her remarks upon realising their presence during the public meeting. Hungwe ordered the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) news crew to stop recording her.
TellZim quotes her saying: “Let me also warn these reporters that I will deal with you if you dare publish this story, mind you, I am Omega Hungwe. Be warned no one should publish the story.”
MISA Zimbabwe position
Threats against the media such as issued by Hungwe, should be of great concern to Zanu PF given pledges by its leader President Emmerson Mnangagwa to break with the past and strengthen the pillars of democracy.
The party should therefore bring the deputy political commissar to account as her actions are contrary to the new political and constitutional dispensation being preached by President Mnangagwa.
The media has every right to report on events as they unfold without fear or any hindrance and in line with its right to media freedom as provided for in the Constitution. MISA Zimbabwe therefore commends the two Masvingo publications for exposing Hungwe and clearly demonstrating their determination to defend their right to media freedom and the free flow of information.
About MISA Zimbabwe
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.