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Newspaper vendor threatened, copies seized
June 20, 2013
a newspaper vendor with the privately-owned NewsDay was on Tuesday,
18 June 2013 reportedly threatened with unspecified action by suspected
Zanu-PF supporters in Harare’s high-density suburb of Mbare.
occurred at the Alpha Media Holdings (NewsDay publishers) newsstand
where the vendor operates.
the youths were angered by a lead story headlined, ‘Coalition
against Mugabe grows’, published in the NewsDay edition of
the same day. Zimbabwe president, Robert Mugabe, who is in an uneasy
agreement with two opposition factions, leads Zanu-PF.
The youths allegedly
confiscated 40 copies of the newspaper, which they are said to have
taken to the local Zanu-PF offices in Mbare before daring Mhorombe
to follow them.
The youths reportedly
told Mhorombe: “We are now doing what is best for our land.
We do not want to see all these other papers. We are now taking
them and we will tear all of them. If you think you can take us
on, then follow us.”
The matter has
been reported at Matapi police station in Mbare, but efforts to
locate the youths at their Zanu-PF offices have so far failed.
acts of lawlessness constitute a serious breach on the citizens’
constitutional right to access information from diverse sources
of information and should thus be condemned in the strongest of
Access to information
is a fundamental universal right critical to holding accountable
those in authority as well as enabling citizens to make informed
choices. This becomes even more critical ahead of Zimbabwe’s
general elections. Supporters of political parties should be educated
on the folly of destroying or confiscating newspapers.
Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Zimbabwe)
urges political parties to advise these unruly elements that they
are not only doing a great disservice to themselves, but are unwittingly
curbing the free flow of information which will result in them failing
to acquire knowledge and information on topical issues being articulated
by their respective leaders.
the MISA-Zimbabwe fact
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