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Media freedom & access to information should be constitutional
Progressive Residents Association
May 07, 2010
At a time when residents are faced with a restrictive media environment
and the ongoing constitutional reform process, this year's
World Press Freedom Day ran under the theme Media Freedom &
Access to Information should be Constitutional Rights! This is the
opportune time to call for provisions that guarantee media freedom
and the residents' right to information access. Media freedom
is fundamentally inseparable from the universal rights to freedom
of expression, assembly, association and citizens' right to
access information. The Media plays a pivotal role by assisting
the public to perform an effective watchdog role through exposure
of misconduct within public and private sectors. An efficient media
holds both public and private bodies accountable and helps fight
corruption. For the good of the residents, a free media will play
a crucial role in guaranteeing that policies on participatory poverty
reduction are formulated. The reduction of poverty in different
communities lies in a free media that prioritises public interest.
Through a free media, residents can foster respect for human rights.
This can include socio-economic rights such as the right to clean
water, adequate housing and health care. These are some of the rights
that the Zimbabwean government seems to take for granted. There
is need for media that will be educating, informing and ensuring
free flow of information and ideas without which residents cannot
make informed decisions necessary for obtaining democracy.
Political Agreement and the constitutional mandate of the statutory
Zimbabwe Media Commission guarantee media reforms and it is about
time residents saw the benefits of these freedoms.
of the uniformed forces
have expressed displeasure over the performance of the police force.
The decay of standards has made residents lose confidence in the
police and the law enforcement system. The conduct of the police
force is unlike that of the yesteryears when local police officers
would be invited to carry out peace keeping missions in countries
like Kosovo the then Yugoslavia and Cuba. The decay which has permeated
the entire system has led to a general mistrust in the force as
residents feel that the institution can no longer cater for or guarantee
their safety amid the growing specter of crime in the country and
an inherent maladministration in the institution. The institution
needs to go through a reform, start upholding the law and see to
it that members of the public adhere to the laws. The police force
has not gone through a sincere reform if any, enough for them to
gain the trust of the populace. The police force has become largely
reliant on tip-offs at the same time most of them have been caught
up in soliciting bribes from members of the public caught in the
wrong side of the law. Residents have attributed the growth of the
crime rate to these uniformed forces that are worryingly at ease
and not perturbed by growing crime. Such factors reflect a conflict
of interest. It shows that what you have or who you are determines
whether you are guilty or innocent.
to watch World Cup from Trade Fair
based in Bulawayo will this year get the opportunity to watch the
FIFA 2010 World Cup from a big screen at the Trade Fair grounds.
The screen is said to have a length measuring up to 10 meters and
a 6 meter width. The open air show of the live games has been made
possible by the Bulawayo Health Studio in a bid to bring the historic
event to the convenience of the general public. The FIFA 2010 World
Cup games will be shown live from 10 June to 11 July 2010. Soccer
fans that cannot afford to watch the games live from South Africa
will get the opportunity to watch them on the big screen and also
get the comfort of being at home. The atmosphere created by the
big screen and the presence of other spectators will make the World
Cup memorable even to those that did not watch it from the host
country. The Organising Director of the Bulawayo Health Studio,
Jonathan Kaliyati, said that they also intend on showing the games
at the Barbour Fields stadium if the city council approves the proposal.
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