By Tapiwa Svondo
The Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) has reaffirmed its commitment to press freedom and the safety of journalists.
In a statement to commemorate the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, ZMC said, “On this significant occasion, the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) reaffirms its unwavering commitment to upholding the fundamental principles of press freedom and ensuring the safety and protection of journalists in the line of duty.
“Freedom of the press and the media is guaranteed by Section 61 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe (No. 20) 2013, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Zimbabwe Media Commission Act.
“These legal provisions give media practitioners the liberty to carry out their work in the country without any hindrance as long as they will be doing so in the confines of the law.”
The regulator emphasised the crucial role of public leadership in safeguarding the rights and safety of journalists, calling upon all Zimbabweans to promote a culture of respect for press freedom.
“The Commission calls upon all Zimbabweans to actively promote a culture of respect for press freedom and to ensure the protection and safety of journalists lawfully conducting their duties and to respect the constitutional rights of the media,” ZMC said.
Reflecting on the August 2023 elections, ZMC commended the proactive measures taken to enhance the safety and well-being of journalists during the electoral process.
Said the regulator, “Through the implementation of targeted initiatives, such as the publishing of the Elections Reporting and Peace Journalism manual, distribution of press jackets, specialised election reporting trainings, and strategic stakeholder engagements, the Commission prioritised the empowerment and protection of journalists ensuring they were equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to navigate potential risks and challenges associated with election coverage.”