Posted by: africanpressorganization | 9 January 2009

Zimbabwe / Accreditation of journalists and registration of media houses.



Zimbabwe / Accreditation of journalists and registration of media houses.

HARARE, Zimbabwe, January 9, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) strongly deplores the arbitrary decision by the government this week to increase accreditation and registration fees for journalists and media houses. The new fee structure from USD 4000 for an individual journalist to an extortionate USD 30 000 for a foreign news agency are prohibitive and punitively high. The VMCZ condemns the cavalier approach taken by the state without due consultation of the stakeholders.
In the face of the prevailing meltdown in the country, we regard the new fee structure as a serious impediment to the people’s ability to access information as it inhibits most journalists from conducting their work freely.

We denounce the government move as we view it as a brazen act of hostility against the media. We challenge the new fee structure on the basis that the Media and Information Commission (MIC) is, in any event, an illegal entity. Amendment 20/2007 of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) effectively dissolved the MIC and replaced it with the Zimbabwe Media Council (ZMC). But up to now, the ZMC has not yet been constituted. Therefore, any accreditation or registration done under the auspices of the MIC is not only null and void but also of no force and effect. We urge all journalists and media houses in Zimbabwe to unite in the fight against the government’s gross violation of the freedom of expression as guaranteed by Section 18 of the Constitution.

Journalists are already under siege from the state’s well-orchestrated repression and they must stand up for their rights now and hold the government to account.




SOURCE : MISA- Zimbabwe


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