Home 9 Media Violation 9 Masvingo Mirror journalists denied access to polling stations

Masvingo Mirror journalists denied access to polling stations

24 Aug, 2023

What happened

Journalists from Masvingo Mirror in Masvingo were on 22 and 23 August 2023 reportedly denied access to polling stations at the  Victoria High School and Show Grounds in Masvingo Urban’s ward nine (9), respectively, despite producing proof of their accreditation by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC). The three journalists denied access to these polling stations are the publication’s Editor, Garikai Mafirakureva, Ellen Mlabo and the third journalist, who was only identified as the photographer.

On 22 August, the journalists were denied access when they visited one of the polling stations to assess whether all was in order ahead of the elections the next day.

In both incidents, polling officers and members of the police reportedly denied them access to take photos and video footage of the polling stations.






MISA's position

The conduct of the polling officers and police constitutes a violation of the media’s right to cover an election.

The SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections under Section 4 (vi) outlines, among other principles, the need to promote the necessary conditions to foster the transparency, freedom of the media and access to information by all citizens …

Section 61 of the Zimbabwean Constitution also guarantees freedom of expression and freedom of the media. Media freedom is closely connected to citizens’ right to access information, which is also enshrined in the Constitution.

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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.

Latest media violations

Those affected:
Journalists from Masvingo Mirror
Number affected:
Polling station Police Officers
Types of actors: