Member of Parliament for Buhera South Joseph Chinotimba verbally attacked and threatened a journalist for the Masvingo provincial weekly The Mirror during this year’s commemorations to mark Heroes Day. The celebrations were held on 13 August 2018 at the Buhera District Heroes Acre.
The Mirror correspondent, Nyasha Musambasi reports that the ZANU PF MP made the threats when he was officially opening the commemorations. Chinotimba reportedly said that The Mirror is not welcome in Buhera because it spreads falsehoods and that he does not want to see the paper distributed in the district. Musambasi had introduced herself to the MP seeking to interview him before he took to the podium and made the attacks on the newspaper.
MISA Zimbabwe position MISA Zimbabwe condemns wanton threats and attacks on the media by politicians and public officials with the contempt deserved. This goes contrary to the government’s pronouncements that Zimbabwe is breaking with its dark and repressive past.
Freedom of the media and expression are constitutionally guaranteed rights which government officials and representatives must, therefore, be exemplary in their defence and promotion. Any behaviour that is contrary to this constitutional duty is a direct attack on the rule of law and must be condemned in the harshest of tones.