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We salute Studio 7, Radio VOP and SW Radio Africa: PYD press statement on the World Press Freedom Day
Platform for Youth Development
May 02, 2013

Platform for Youth Development (PYD) joins the rest of the world in commemorating the world press freedom day. As a youth movement, we would find no reason to celebrate as we feel Zimbabwe is actually driving in reverse while other progressive member states of the United Nations move forward.

The day was set aside to observe the importance of press freedom throughout the world. The theme for this year ‘safe to speak’ resonates well with our thinking as a youth group that our government should ensure and protect its citizens’ right from attack.

The 2013 edition of the commemorations comes in the background of continued arrest of media practitioners by the repressive government of national unity. This has raised fears among citizens as they are now afraid to speak out.

We appreciate the role played by media personalities in trying to open up space. We cannot ignore but admire the brevity of media organizations such as MISA and others who are supporting community radios and newspapers. As PYD we have been instrumental in providing critical information to the underprivileged and marginalized communities whose impact has been measured by the support and solidarity in Chisumbanje land dispute and the registration of first time voters.

PYD also takes this opportunity to salute radio stations such as Studio 7, Radio VOP, and SW Radio Africa for giving citizens a voice and an alternative source of information. The stations have been labeled regime change machinations but to us citizens, they are our sources of news and we appreciate very much the role they are playing in the Zimbabwean society.

We therefore call upon the government of national unity to accelerate media reforms so as to ensure that citizens access objective, balanced and factual information. It is pathetic how the state media such as ZBC and The Herald fan hate speech day in day out despite surviving on tax payers money.

This should stop now. Zimbabwe needs newspapers and radio stations that understand, appreciate and foster the values and aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe which is unity and dignity.

We are proud to announce that we are also going to commemorate this day at Chibuwe Township. The day will start with drama, music, traditional dances, poetry and speeches from Chipinge communities, MISA and PYD leadership. Let’s all come and commemorate this important day. Let’s all push our government to observe press freedom.

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