Media Repression A Thingy of The Past: Simon Khaya Moyo

ACTING Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Simon Khaya Moyo has said media polarisation has no room in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration.

Moyo said media repression witnessed under former President Robert Mugabe’s administration was a thing of the past during Mnangagwa’s reign.

“Media polarisation, which has been the hallmark of our media discourse, has no room in Zimbabwe under the new political dispensation, which enjoins all Zimbabweans to work together focusing on developing our economy,” he said at the launch of a European Union and Norwegian supported Media on Governance and Electoral Matters in Zimbabwe programme on Thursday.

“The dictum, ‘iwe neni tine basa (you and I have a job to do)’ is a refrain, which should remind all of us in the media that we have a role to play in shaping the destiny of our country.”

Khaya Moyo told participants, who included foreign diplomats, journalists and Media Alliance of Zimbabwe partners, that the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa) and the Broadcasting Services Act, which perpetuates the monopoly of State broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, were being aligned to the country’s new Constitution.

“Government is at hand to give assistance and support to the media to ensure that they carry out their work unimpeded in a peacefully working environment.

“After all, media freedom, access to information and fee expression are guaranteed by our Constitution,” he said.

Without giving full details, Moyo said new television players were coming on board.
“And even before then, as soon as government acquires set-top boxes, we should begin to roll out digital television services in areas that have proximity to digitalised transmitter sites,” he said.

Moyo urged the media to truthfully inform the world about the transparency of Zimbabwe’s electoral processes, adding credible elections were a collective responsibility and all stakeholders, including the media, had a role in contributing to polls whose outcome would be universally accepted. The government spokesperson said the hallmark of thriving democracies was the presence of an informed citizenry, which participates in the national discourse through free expression.

“Let bygones be bygones; President Mnangagwa has said on many public fora and this message applies equally to the communications sector, which should embrace a new media ethos that focuses on supporting the country’s economic development efforts,” he said.

Under Mugabe’s rule, the media were under siege due to repressive media laws top, among them, the Public Order and Security Act and Aippa, resulting in several journalists being assaulted, arrested and intimidated.