Mnangagwa slammed for barring private media

Former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa
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HARARE – The Zimbabwe National Editors Forum (Zinef) has slammed the flagrant violation of Zimbabwe’s Constitution by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa whose team barred private media journalists from covering his  Press Conference at his offices in Harare on Thursday.

Journalists from the private media were denied entry into the Press Conference addressed by the vice president and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister despite being lawfully accredited.

“The act of barring journalists is in violation of Sections 61 and 62 of the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of the media and access to information,” the Dumisani Muleya-led Zinef said in a statement yesterday.

“These aforementioned sections provide for citizens and the Zimbabwean media to access information held by ‘any person, including the State or any institution or agency of government in so far as the information is required in the interests of public accountability.’

“VP Mnangagwa is a public official who should be accessible to all media and by right should be accountable to the public, especially in light of the unprecedented impasse between the country’s two vice presidents.”

Zinef called upon the Justice ministry and office of the vice president to apologise for trashing the Constitution.

“Zinef also calls upon government and all public officials to respect the media at a time it is dealing with polarisation in the sector and nation as a whole,” the form said. – Daily News