JOURNALISTS in Victoria Falls yesterday marked the World Press Freedom Day by joining youths in the resort town to clean the busy Chinotimba bus terminus.
The cleanup was part of a number of activities organised by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Zimbabwe throughout the country to commemorate the day.
Misa Zimbabwe chairperson Njabulo Ncube led the cleanup exercise involving nearly 100 youths, including journalists working in the resort town from both the private and public media.
Speaking after the event Ncube said there was need to sanitise Zimbabwe’s media laws that continue to inhibit press freedom.
“The media plays a fundamental role in accessing information which is vital for the day-to-day functioning of a democracy and the socioeconomic wellbeing of citizens,” he said.
“Citizens should thus be empowered through enabling legislation to request and receive information from public and private bodies.”
Misa Zimbabwe director Nhlanhla Ngwenya said this year’s events were organised to promote access to information.
“As part and parcel of our commemorations we lined up a number of activities across Zimbabwe and we thought it would be prudent to concentrate on the need for citizens to access information,” he said.
“However, we have noticed that there is a section of the community which has been left out and that is the youths and schoolchildren whom we believe are going to be our future leaders. We also believe they are going to change the attitude around freedom of expression and access to information.
“We strongly believe that these are the people who can bring changes and who can understand in the next few years the importance of promoting media freedom and access to information.
“We want to catch them young hence our involvement with the youths during this year’s World Press Freedom day in cleaning up Chinotimba.”
In Harare police barred journalists from marching to commemorate the event.
The Zimbabwe Association of Community Radios was also denied permission to hold an event to mark Press Freedom Day.