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on World Press Freedom Day
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
Constitutional Assembly (NCA) joins the rest of the world in commemorating
World Press Freedom Day under the theme, "21st Century Media:
New Frontiers, New Barriers".
Freedom Day is a day that reminds us of the vital importance of
this core freedom. Article 19 of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights states that... the fundamental right
of freedom of expression encompasses the freedom "to seek,
receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless
of frontiers.'' Freedom of information is an integral
part of freedom of expression and contributes to democratic governance.
As the NCA we
take this opportunity to salute the vital role played by journalists
in Zimbabwe and the whole world in general. Since the beginning
of this year to date we have witnessed harassment, arrests and killings
of journalists mainly in the Arab countries where violence is the
order of the day.
We however urge
all media practitioners to remain fearless and tell any story as
it is. As this day comes the NCA is worried about the propagation
of hate speech being churned by the state media which does not in
any way resemble that of a national broadcaster. ZBC is used in
Zimbabwe to propagate parochial interests of ZANU PF whilst attacking
other political players in the country.
Though we welcome
the coming in of other media houses like the Daily News, News Day,
and the Mail, we are concerned about the partisan nature and monopoly
in the broadcasting sector. We challenge the media council to register
and give licences to other players who have expressed interest.
of registering should be simple and flexible to allow interested
players to have permission to broadcast without any impediment.
The NCA will
continue fighting for a new democratic people driven constitution
that guarantees and promotes freedom of expression and access to
Lastly we wish
to reaffirm Section 1.2(V) of the Zimbabwe
People's Charter which aspires for... A free vibrant media
that places emphasis on the rights to freedom of expression, information
as well as ensuring independence of both public and private media.
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