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Journalists free to cover the ZEC mobile voter registration exercise 

17 Mar, 2023
In his letter, Dr Moyo said the clarification sought would ensure that journalists are able to cover the registration exercise without hindrance as provided for by Section 61 of the Constitution which protects media freedom as well as Section 62 on the right to access to information.

Journalists are free to cover the ongoing Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) mobile voter registration exercise using their Zimbabwe Media Commission-issued press cards.

On 13 March 2023, the Centre for Innovation & Technology (CITE), a Bulawayo-based media house reported that they had challenges covering the mobile voter registration blitz in Bulawayo because they were not accredited by ZEC. 

MISA Zimbabwe also received a similar concern from a Harare-based journalist who faced similar challenges while covering the voter registration exercise. 

This prompted MISA Zimbabwe National Director Dr Tabani Moyo to write to ZEC Chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba on 14 March 2023 seeking clarification on the authenticity of these reports and concerns by the media as a matter of urgency. 

In his letter, Dr Moyo said the clarification sought would ensure that journalists are able to cover the registration exercise without hindrance as provided for by Section 61 of the Constitution which protects media freedom as well as Section 62 on the right to access to information.

MISA Zimbabwe is pleased that ZEC has since swiftly responded to the concerns raised assuring journalists that they have the right to cover the voter registration exercise without hindrance.

On 16 March 2023, ZEC on Tweeter said: “The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) would like to advise the media that journalists who have a valid Zimbabwe Media Commission accreditation card can access mobile voter registration centres to cover the programme.”

MISA Zimbabwe commends ZEC for its swift response and clarification in upholding the right to media freedom and the media’s right to access to any information held by the State or by any institution or agency of government at every level, in so far as the information is required in the interests of public accountability as provided for by the Constitution. 

About MISA

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1992. 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.

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