INFORMATION, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo has once again demonstrated that he is sincere in his crusade to end polarisation in Zimbabwe’s media sector.
Moyo has not taken lightly to the ill informed decision by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to ban a World Press Freedom Day march in Harare on the spurious grounds that it was not sanctioned.
The event was organised by the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) in conjunction with Unesco and the Information, Media and Broadcasting Services ministry.
Police had initially sanctioned the march only to make a shock U-turn on the 11th hour.
Moyo was understandably infuriated by the ZRP’s stance, which he described as unconstitutional.
He said the cancellation was based on opaque reasons that were “manifestly neither in the public nor national interest” before reminding the police that freedom of the media was now enshrined in the new Constitution.
The minister summed up the disruption by the police as “patently unconstitutional and without any transparent, rational or constructive justification”.
We agree with Moyo that the police as usually acted outside the law and their actions cannot be justified under any circumstances.
The police have once again sought to disrupt the government’s clear programme to build bridges in the heavily polarised media sector.
In previous weeks the ZRP has been for arresting journalists despite the Information, Media and Broadcasting Services ministry’s unequivocal stance that such actions are no longer permissible under the new Constitution.
Therefore, this raises questions about the agenda of the police in muzzling the media.
Police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri now needs to come out clear about the agenda that the ZRP is pursuing that seems to be at cross purposes with that of the government of the day.
Are police serving some narrow interests that are against the vision and declared policy of the government of the day.
It is our hope that those working day and night to derail reforms would be exposed one day.
Moyo deserves everyone’s support in the battle against the dark forces that seem very be very determined to undo all the gains made with the adoption of the new constitution.