23 Feb 2017 - HARARE - The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe chapter has urged the government to repeal repressive laws that have haunted the media for close to two decades.
MISA acting national chairperson, Kelvin Jakachira told Advocacy committee members at the organisation's belated Annual General Meeting (AGM) last week that it was regrettable that the media environment remained unchanged despite the 2013 constitutional gains.
"The media landscape is still littered with a plethora of laws that infringe on media freedom, freedom of expression, free artistic expression and freedom to demonstrate and petition.
"The laws include the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), Broadcasting Services Act (BSA), Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act among others," said Jakachira.
He said 2016 witnessed an upsurge in cases relating to violations against the media.
"During the course of 2016, we witnessed an upsurge in cases pertaining to media violations. A total of 23 journalists were unlawfully arrested or detained while conducting their lawful professional duties, compared to 10 cases recorded in 2015.
"In addition, 12 journalists were assaulted by the police and supporters of Zanu PF while on duty, compared to seven (7) cases recorded in 2015," he lamented.
Jakachira was, however, happy that MISA managed to provide legal assistance and medical cover to the journalists who were victims of these acts of lawlessness.
MISA also gave transport allowances to families of the journalists who were in custody.local