By Staff Reporter
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services deputy minister Kindness Paradza says Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa was working against the spirit of government’s media reform agenda through pronouncing a blanket ban on State media on alleged bias against his party.
Chamisa adamantly declared the ban at a recent press conference in Harare.
He accused state media journalists of open bias against his party and brazenly doing Zanu PF’s bidding in the name of news reportage.
“Those who are associated with Zanu PF may not be able to have access to our rallies,” Chamisa said.
“Our laxity, our magnanimity, and generosity are being abused. We will limit access to our venues to those journalists who are working for Zanu PF and we know you. We will not allow you.”
But in an interview with Zimstar News on the side-lines of a MISA-Zimbabwe organised Broadcasting Stakeholders Meeting in Harare Wednesday, Paradza, also a former Zimbabwe Union of journalists president, insisted political parties must desist from “hindering” journalists from doing their work.
“What we know is that this administration has undertaken media reforms and media reforms entail media freedom. So, what we want is for our media here to be free in whatever they do in their operations and not to be curtailed or hindered by any particular party; journalists in this country must be free to exercise their work,” he said.
Paradza also said state broadcaster ZBC has not banned CCC from coverage but was quick to say it was up to the opposition party to choose whether to enjoy its election time slot or walk away.
Said the Zanu PF politician, “Right now, when we go for elections, ZBC is under ZEC; that’s what the law says. So, ZBC has allocated time to each contesting political party…If one of them does not want to utilise its time, it’s not the business of ZBC, so it’s up to them (CCC) to utilise that time and it’s for free.”
Chamisa has, in his past public comments, claimed state media was blacking out his party’s activities from coverage and in the few instances of such coverage, he said, State media was deliberately reporting negatively about his party.