STATE media editors were this week making last-minute attempts to be included in the group of journalists leaving tomorrow for Sweden to study the media framework there.
>This came after Information minister Jonathan Moyo had blocked journalists in the state media from going to Sweden. Communications manager at the Swedish embassy Sizani Weza said Moyo had issued a directive last week to reporters from the state media advising that they shouldn’t be part of the visit to Sweden.
Five journalists from the state media, one from ZBC and four from Zimpapers, had been cleared by their editors to undertake the tour and had applied for Swedish visas.
Kristina Svensson, Ambassador of Sweden to Zimbabwe, confirmed this week that state-media journalists had withdrawn from the study tour after receiving a directive from government.
However, through the Zimbabwe Association of Editors (ZAE), formed earlier this year, state-media editors went to the Swedish embassy this week asking to be included in the trip.
Willie Mponda, the secretary-general of ZAE on Wednesday wrote to the Swedish embassy in Harare saying: “After an executive meeting yesterday, it was resolved that we should send two representatives to the study tour to Sweden and the following will represent the Association – Willie Mponda (secretary-general) (and) Remington Jari Jari (committee member).
The Swedish embassy in Harare has since responded to the request by forwarding it to Stockholm for consideration. The state-media editors are now unlikely to make it to Stockholm in the time remaining.
Asked whether their resolution to take part in the trip would not jeopardise their relationship with Moyo, Muponda said: “What politicians say does not affect our editorial decisions. We don’t take directives from politicians.”