Zimbabwe has joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Press Freedom Day, a day that was set aside to celebrate the freedom of the media.
262times took the liberty of speaking to a few journalists about their understanding of the World Press Freedom Day.
They uttered a few comments below:
“Communities flourish through the free exchange of information and ideas, both online and offline, which help to promote informed societies, transparency, and accountability.
“We toil everyday to inform the world and never get time to celebrate ourselves. To all my media colleagues around the world, let us be proud of our day even as we work in oftentimes difficult circumstances.
“As we commemorate World Press Freedom Day, let us remember that we have a right and freedom of expression. We need to uncover what is covered, that is what being a journalist is all about. ” They said.
However, senior journalist and political analyst, Hopewell Chin’ono said Zimbabwean journalists have nothing to celebrate on the World Press Freedom Day.
“Today is World Press Freedom Day; Yet it means very little in Zimbabwe where journalists are routinely beaten up and arrested! Zimbabwe had an important place on the continent, today it is just another failed pariah state! Sadly our journalists have nothing to celebrate today!” Hopewell Chin’ono posted on twitter.
The opposition party, MDC Alliance said there is no freedom of press in Zimbabwe.
“Zimbabwe is a sad example of how the absence of press freedom, attacks on journalists & violations of free speech threaten democracy. The citizens must converge to demand a free & independent press to ensure that there is accountability in governance.” They posted on their handle.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights called upon the government to make a commitment towards respecting, protecting and promoting press freedom. ZLHR also urges the public to reflect on the sacrifices made by journalists for the sake of a free press.
World Press Freedom Day has its origins in a UNESCO conference in Windhoek, Namibia in 1991. The event ended on 3 May with the adoption of the landmark Windhoek Declaration for the Development of a Free, Independent and Pluralistic Press.