Back to Index
amendments to the constitution
Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ)
Weekly Media Update 2005-29
Monday August 1st – August 7th 2005
professional ineptitude in tackling important issues that have a
serious bearing on the constitutional rights of Zimbabweans manifested
itself this week in their failure to thoroughly explore and bring
to light the full implications of government’s proposed amendments
to the constitution.
Except for the
Zimbabwe Independent (5/8), none of the media fully informed
their audiences of the details contained in the Constitution of
Zimbabwe Amendment (No.17) Bill or carried an adequate analysis
of the proposed changes.
Studio 7 (4/8),
The Herald (5/8) and The Standard (7/8) merely restricted
their coverage to a public hearing conducted by the parliamentary
portfolio committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs
to discuss the Bill.
simply quoted members of civic society raising reservations on Clause
16B, which erodes property rights and the citizenry’s right to seek
recourse from the courts, and the proposed appointment system for
members of the Senate.
A starkly more
comprehensive assessment of the grave pitfalls of Clause 16B was
only made by Alex Magaisa in the Independent. For example,
Magaisa summed up the disastrous effects the proposed amendments
would have on the country thus: "The confidence of investors
will decline further while the credit rating of the country and
businesses will be drastically reduced." Consequently,
he warned Parliament to "think long and hard before passing
this dangerous amendment into law for it is a mortal danger to the
In spite of
this however, none of the media ventured into discussing other proposed
undemocratic amendments that seek to further curtail Zimbabweans’
rights to freedom of movement, their rights to directly participate
in the governance of the country, or to choose representatives of
their choice by proposals that will introduce stringent qualifications
for aspiring legislators.
failure to expose these latest attempts to systematically annihilate
yet another swathe of fundamental constitutional rights disguised
as a Bill to introduce a Senate is a travesty of journalism that
exposes how effectively repressive media laws have emasculated the
journalistic profession in Zimbabwe.
week witnessed the continued harassment of dissenting voices by
the police and alleged ZANU PF supporters. Studio 7 (4/8) reported
that National Constitutional Assembly chairman Lovemore Madhuku
was arrested outside Parliament together with two other individuals,
who included a member of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions,
on allegations that they planned to stage a demonstration against
the proposed constitutional amendments.
(2/8) also reported that about 100 families in Manicaland were allegedly
being denied food by the Grain Marketing Board because they supported
In another incident,
the station reported (3/8) that ZANU PF supporters in Bubi district
had allegedly attacked MDC MP Edward Mukhosi and other party officials,
including the opposition’s local candidate for the upcoming council
by-elections. However, the station compromised its reports by failing
to balance the victims’ accounts with official comments, or those
accused of perpetrating such abuses. Neither did it provide evidence
that it had sought their side of the story.
media ignored these issues.
Visit the MMPZ
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.