11 July 2018

South Africa: Safety of Journalists in Question As Poll Date Nears

analysis

As the Zimbabwe elections approach, fears have been raised over threats to journalists. This follows a press conference by the military at which it accused members of the fourth estate of peddling lies against the army.

Over the years, a number of journalists, especially freelance journalists writing for foreign and local independent media, have, when reporting on Zimbabwe, used pseudonyms for fear of victimisation by the government, which has always viewed them as enemies of the state.

The practice continues today and with good reason.

At a recently held press conference at Defence House in Harare, Zimbabwe Defence Forces' (ZDF) director of public relations, Colonel Overson Mugwisi, singled out reporters Siphosami Malunga, Richard Chidza, Snodia Mawupeni and Blessing Mashaya for "bad and mischievous reporting".

The statement by Mugwisi is viewed as a threat to journalists and an attempt to muzzle the press from exposing the ills of the military, which, for a long time, has been viewed as partisan and serving the interests of the ruling Zanu- PF...

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