Zimbabwe: ZEC Ban Threat On Journalists Recording Interviews Outside Polling Stations

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was Monday called to issue a warning to journalists found conducting interviews of persons entering or leaving polling stations.

The warning was made amid claims both local and international journalists were in breach of the Electoral Act through interviews within the precincts of voting centres.

Briefing the media in Harare on Monday, ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba threatened to summarily withdraw accreditation issued to offending media personnel.

"The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) would like to advise chief election agents, election agents and observers including members of the media fraternity that it is in violation of the Code of Conduct to interview any voters at a polling stations or on their way to and from the polling stations," said the ZEC boss.

"It has come to our attention some media houses are in-fact conducting live interviews to voters at polling stations which is in contravention of 207 of the first schedule to our Electoral Act."

She added, "Those found in violation of the code risk their accreditation being revoked without any further warning.

"Please be warned and comply with the laws of our country."

The poll management authority has pursued a tough stance of late with claims the electoral body on Monday reported two presidential candidates to the police for allegedly violating sections of the Electoral Act which forbid any form of campaigns within 48 hours of polling.

The country's first election since the fall of President Robert Mugabe November last year has witnessed a huge army of poll observers and journalists come to Zimbabwe.

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