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PRESS STATEMENT: MAZ Elects New Leadership

MEDIA ALLIANCE OF ZIMBABWE (MAZ) PRESS STATEMENT ON THE ELECTION OF NEW LEADERSHIP

Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ) has elected Tabani Moyo as chairperson of the media freedom advocacy network with immediate effect.  Moyo, who is the Director of the Zimbabwe Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), takes over from Media Monitors Director Patience Zirima.  He will be deputised by Gender and Media Connect (GMC) National Director Abigail Gamanya.

In handing over the leadership role of the Alliance, Zirima said that she is optimistic that the new leadership will steer forward advocacy for genuine media reforms and that while strides have been made, there is still a lot of work to be done.

“It was a great honour to lead the collective efforts of media professional and support organisations in defending freedom of expression in Zimbabwe,” said Zirima.  “It has not been an easy road.  The media in Zimbabwe is at the crossroads and reforms are long overdue.”

Zirima said that although the collective efforts of MAZ have resulted in some level of success, media stakeholders need to continue pressing both state and non-state actors to ensure that citizens enjoy their constitutionally guaranteed rights to access information and to free expression.

“Over the years, MAZ has collectively succeeded in advocating for the entrenchment of journalistic and media freedoms within the country’s Constitution, lobbied for the opening up of the broadcasting sector, resulting in the entry of new radio stations.  MAZ has also collectively championed the media law reform process, by contributing towards the government led Information and Media Panel of Inquiry (IMPI) and creating an alternative media policy framework based on the Constitution and international best practise,” Zirima said.

“Going forward, the advocacy priorities for the Alliance should centre on emerging threats to media freedom, including media sustainability, cyber security, media capture and the safety of practitioners.”

Moyo said his immediate task is to ensure that the ongoing media law reform process will be genuine and that the country will have democratic media laws.

“We will not accept piecemeal changes to draconian and outdated laws,” said Moyo.  “Our positions and demands remain unchanged.  The ongoing media law reform process should not be seen as an attempt to apply lipstick on a frog nor should it be reduced to a redundant process that will produce carbon copies of the old laws,” he said.

“MAZ has already raised concern on some challenges that have characterized this process and while we continue to engage the relevant Ministries and Parliamentary Portfolio Committees, we will keep our eyes on the ball and ensure that we are not going to be used as pawns in an illegitimate and insincere process.”

“Beyond the media law reform process, we are going to be seized with other media freedom issues, including but not limited to digital rights, a sustainable media, strengthening media professionalism and the transformation of all state-controlled media into being genuine public service media.”

About MAZ

The Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ) is an alliance of media support organisations including the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe, Media Institute of Southern Africa (Zimbabwe chapter), Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ), Zimbabwe National Editors’ Forum (ZINEF), Gender and Media Connect (GMC), the Media Centre, the Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS), the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) and the African Community Publishing Development Trust (ACPDT). MAZ work focuses on four key areas which are:

 

  • Freedom of Expression
  • Right to Information
  • Media Freedom
  • Media Law and Policy Reform

 

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a male journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He writes for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own news website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network on their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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