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Monday, July 15, 2024

Government re-affirms commitment to ensure the safety of journalists

Story by Tichaona Kurewa

THE government says it is committed to continuing to ensure a conducive working environment for journalists at all times.

Government has among other media reforms repealed the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and enacted the Freedom of Information Act to enhance media’s access to information, while several radio and television licenses have been issued to ensure media plurality.

These were some of the issues that took centre stage at the United Nations regional workshop in Victoria Falls this Friday, with the government also reaffirming its commitment towards protecting the rights of journalists.

“As noted from the above measures, Zimbabwe, under the Second Republic has made the safety of journalists an issue of high priority. We do not condone any acts of violence against journalists,” noted Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Senator Monica Mutsvangwa.

“Let me reiterate that the Government of Zimbabwe, under the astute leadership of His Excellency, President ED Mnangagwa, is committed to providing a safe operating media environment and to guaranteeing freedom of the press to ensure that media practitioners execute their duties freely for the attainment of Vision 2030,” she asserted.

The government also reminded journalists to act responsibly.

“Freedom of expression and freedom of the media exclude- incitement to violence; advocacy of hatred or hate speech; malicious injury to a person’s reputation or dignity; or malicious or unwarranted breach of a person’s right to privacy,” added Minister Mutsvangwa.

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) noted progress made by the government in promoting freedom of expression and the safety of journalists.

“You would understand that over the years it was always difficult for journalists to get access to the Ministry (of Information) but that has shifted significantly with the new set of hands at the Ministry,” said MISA Regional Director Dr Thabani Moyo.

“The issue of the post-cabinet briefing that happens weekly, these are progressive steps but there is still a lot of work to be done,” he added.

As part of efforts to ensure the nation attains an upper middle-income society by 2030, the Second Republic has prioritised citizens’ access to information to stimulate their participation in developmental initiatives.

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