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Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) statement on the arrest of MMPZ
Media Council of Zimbabwe
December 06, 2011
Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) deplores the
arrest of Mr. Andy Moyse Coordinator of the Media Monitoring
Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ) and three staff members of the same organisation
on Tuesday 6 and Monday the 5 December 2011 respectively.
was arrested in Harare while MMPZ's advocacy officers Fadzai
December and Molly Chimhanda, together with MMPZ's Public
Information Rights Forum Committee Member, Gilbert Mabusa, were
arrested in Gwanda.
a statement from the MMPZ Mr. Moyse is being held at Harare Central
Police Station while detectives from the CID Law and Order Section
investigate whether or not he acted in breach of Section 31 of the
Law (Codification and Reform Act) which makes it a criminal
offence to publish or communicate statements that are deemed prejudicial
to the state. The other three MMPZ personnel are being charged under
Public Order and
Security Act (POSA), for failing to give notice of a meeting
held in Gwanda on November 24. This is despite the fact that the
meeting was convened by the membership of MMPZ's Public Information
Rights Forum Committee for Gwanda and was therefore not a public
meeting. The three are also being charged under the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act for "participating in a gathering
with intent to promote public violence, breaches of the peace or
It is the VMCZ's
strong conviction that the laws that are being used to charge the
four MMPZ leaders and employees are patently undemocratic and undermine
the right of all citizens of Zimbabwe to freedom of expression as
well as that of the freedom to assemble. These are rights that are
enshrined in Zimbabwe's Constitution.
These rights are also internationally recognised rights in terms
of the African
Charter on Human and Peoples Rights together with the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. We therefore call for the immediate
release of the detained colleagues. Where those in political power
have a problem with a media story, a video production, they are
free to approach the Media Complaints Committee of the VMCZ for
The VMCZ also
urges political parties in the inclusive government to revise their
approach to matters that relate to freedom of expression and repeal
legislation such as AIPPA,
POSA and amend sections of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform)
Act that only serve to impinge on the rights of all Zimbabweans
to freedom of expression and assembly.
the VMCZ fact
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