MANICALAND Provincial Affairs minister Monica Mutsvangwa has urged journalists to conduct their duties in a manner that promotes peace and unity ahead of general elections expected in July this year.
Mutsvangwa made the remarks last Friday during an interface meeting with Manicaland-based journalists, who had approached her office to register concern over their security ahead of the polls.
“I also want to remind and encourage you that, as we heard for elections, conduct your duties professionally in a manner that promotes peace and unity.
“It is my pleasure to have been invited to this important interface meeting with you all members of the fourth estate – journalists – from my province,” she said
Mutsvangwa said journalists from various media houses are playing a pivotal role in highlighting critical issues that have contributed massively to the development of the province.
“It is, therefore, my humble plea to you all to set the standards by writing fair, accurate and well balanced stories that promote social cohesion, unity and importantly development of our good province,” she said
“I also want to remind and encourage you, that, as we head for elections, conduct your duties professionally in a manner that promotes peace and unity.
The minister pledged to ensure journalists are allowed to perform their duties without any hindrance.
Journalists, particularly from private media have been brutalised by police and Zanu-PF supporters, as they covered previous elections.
Misa-Zimbabwe Mutare advocacy committee chairperson, Kenneth Matimaire appealed to Mutsvangwa to use her influence in government to stop the harassing of journalists during the 2018 elections.
“Right now, as we are going for elections, as the Mutare advocacy committee for Misa-Zimbabwe, we are concerned about the safety and security of journalists,” he said
“Cases have already been recorded nationally and within our province including harassment and intimidation of journalists by politicians across political divide.
“Our fear is that this will hinder journalists from executing their duties professionally, so we are appealing to your good office and your high standing both in government and Zanu-PF to ensure that journalists are accorded space to execute their duties without fear and favour.”