Saturday, September 30, 2023

Zacras urges govt to uphold, respect media freedoms

Tinaani Nyabereka

Gweru- Zimbabwe Association of Community Radios Association, (ZACRAS) has urged government to uphold and respect fundamental rights which speaks to freedoms of the media.
This was said during the World Press Freedom Day celebrations in Gweru last week at Bata Club.
Speaking at the occasion, ZACRAS National Chairperson Tobias Saratiel said if people have access to information, they could effectively participate towards the development of the nation.
“If people have access to information they will critically participate in community development. Government has opened airwaves and right now we shall be launching more community radios as an institution in partnership with government.
“We also acknowledge the challenges faced by journalists as we say prioritize the welfare of the foot soldiers who gather information on daily basis. We therefore continue to lobby government to also uphold the fundamental rights of journalists especially freedom of expression as information remains a key component to a democratic society,” said Saratiel.
Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe National Chairperson Golden Maunganidze said in 2022 the country witnessed an increase in the number of cases of harassment of journalists.
“We received many cases against journalists in issues to do with assault and harassment at political gatherings and rallies”
“Others were barred from covering national events while other cases involved unlawful arrests and assault of journalists conducting their lawful professional duties by the police.
“Journalists and media workers in general, should familiarise themselves with the profession’s safety and security guidelines to minimise the risks that come with their chosen profession,” he said.
He further urged political parties, the police and other security forces to ensure safety and security of journalists during campaigns for the forthcoming harmonised elections later scheduled for later this year.
MISA Trustee Kelvin Jakachira called upon journalists to prioritize their welfare and safety as the election season was fast approaching.

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