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Govt to maintain tight grip on media

GOVERNMENT will maintain its stranglehold on the media through the Media and Information Commission (MIC) until media practitioners form a voluntary media complaints council to police “media recklessness”, acting Information minister, Paul Mangwana, said last Friday.

Mangwana said the Zimbabwe Union of Journalist (ZUJ) could not claim to represent the media in Zimbabwe as it comprised “employees”.

Instead, he said, ZUJ should realise that it is just part of a facet of an industry that comprises publishers, editors, advertisers and printers.

Government, he said, had no qualms about self-regulatory bodies pertaining to an industry.

ZUJ has been supporting a Misa initiative, backed by other stakeholders such as the Zimbabwe National Editors Forum, to form a voluntary media council. The MIC is widely viewed as a government agency tasked to muzzle the independent media.

Mangwana said the MIC was established to cover the vacuum created by a media industry that could not regulate itself.

“You make and unmake reputations, you make or unmake politics, you make and unmake governments.

Government cannot be blamed for reading political conspiracy in demands that seek to compromise the sovereignty and interest of this country,” Mangwana said. — Staff Writer.

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