Peace Commission urges improvement in relations between security forces and media
By Staff Reporter
THE National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) has urged improvement in relations between the country’s security establishments and the media.
This follows reports of harassment directed at journalists during the national lockdown against Covid-19.
The media was excused from the soon to end 21-day job and business break declared by government as it is one of the sectors identified as offering critical services.
However, journalists occasionally found themselves being harassed by police and army enforcement teams for allegedly violating the lockdown.
In a statement, the country’s peace commission commended the country’s media for playing a “positive role in informing the nation on Covid-19, the lockdown, compliance by the citizens and enforcement by the security sector”.
“There is need for an improvement of relations between the media and the security sector,” said the commission.
“The Commission implores the media to practice responsible and peace journalism by avoiding sensationalised reportage.
“The security sector is also urged to respect the constitutional rights of all accredited media practitioners.
“Both the security sector and the media are critical and are urged to exercise restraint, maturity, respect and tolerance towards each other in the performance of their constitutional obligations.”
The harassment directed on the media by the security forces has invited a court challenge by media rights lobby, Media Institute of Southern Africa – Zimbabwe.