Journalist denied access to Zanu PF rally
Freelance journalist Chengetai Zvauya was on 3 July 2023 reportedly denied access to cover a Zanu PF campaign rally at a netball complex in Mbare, Harare, which was addressed by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.
According to Zvauya, security personnel denied him entry to the venue despite that he was wearing a Zimbabwe Media Commission-issued press jacket as well as having presented his press card.
He said the security personnel who interrogated him for about 10 minutes, informed him that they could not verify his identity as a journalist and took down his national identity number, mobile number, home address and press card number.
Zvauya said he tried to contact Zanu PF’s director of information, Tafadzwa Mugwadi, but to no avail as the connection was unclear due to the noise at the rally.
This incident is regrettable as it comes after the meetings held by MISA Zimbabwe and other media representative groups such as the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Union of Journalists, with political parties to ensure the safety and security of journalists at political events.
During the meetings, political parties, including Zanu PF, said they would ensure that journalists would be allowed to cover their political events without hindrance.
MISA Zimbabwe urges political parties to cascade their pledges and commitments to security personnel at their events as well as their supporters, that journalists have a constitutional right to cover public meetings without hindrance.
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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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Freelance journalist Chengetai Zvauya