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media personnel abuses
December 07, 2011
police continued with their irrational persecution of media personnel
on Tuesday when they raided the Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe
(MMPZ) offices and arrested
MMPZ Projects Coordinator Andy Moyse and seized more than 100 CDs
and DVDs 'containing Gukurahundi Information'.
MMPZ officers, advocacy officers Fadzai December and Molly Chimhanda,
and the Gwanda chairperson of MMPZ'S Public Information Rights
Forum Committee Gilbert Mabusa were also arrested in Harare on Monday
and remain in custody at Gwanda Police Station. The three were arrested
and are also being charged under the terms of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act for "participating in
a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of
the peace or bigotry" for a civic education meeting they held
in Gwanda last month.
of journalists and other media personnel has been on the increase
recently with The Daily News editor, Stanley Gama and reporter Xolisani
Ncube arrested last week. Last month Nevanji Madanhire, the editor
of The Standard and reporter Nqaba Matshazi were also arrested on
make it very difficult for the man on the street to trust the government
anymore, especially now that they are granting licenses to 'new'
media houses in the broadcasting industry. The independence of such
broadcasters comes under serious scrutiny from the public, especially
with controversial granting of license to organizations like state
publisher ZimPapers, notorious for being overly partisan.
The Youth Forum,
currently coming up with a plan to make information accessible to
youths in marginalized areas in order to improve the free flow of
news, ideas and information, would like to strongly condemn the
incarceration of private and independent media personnel and this
deplorable situation raises obvious questions over charges being
concocted out of politically motivated harassment. There just isn't
enough information to suggest timely processes of evidence and investigation
have taken place prior to all the arrests.
We urge the
regime to cease the arbitrary detention of selected citizens on
sham charges, and repeat our call for the revision of laws such
and POSA. It is important to restore the right to meet in public
places, to organize, to share opinions, ideas and express them no
matter how critical or unpopular they may be, as this is an essential
aspect of public life. As the regime leaders continue to target
citizens who express ideas and opinions that do not support their
views, a culture of compliance and silence is being manipulated
and misrepresented to future generations as the 'Zimbabwean'
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