By James Martin
Seasoned lawyer Chris Mhike has told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information and Broadcasting Services that they should use the Zimbabwe Media Commission Bill to do away with the issues of multiple accreditations for media practitioners in the country.
Despite being duly accredited to practice journalism in the country by the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC), various other bodies also require their own separate accreditation if one is to cover their events and activities.
Mhike said these multiple accreditations are unnecessary and of no use, adding that only the ZMC issued accreditation should be able to cover any event.
“Registration and accreditation of journalists by various bodies must be struck off.
“The ZMC Bill should take a step forward to make sure that registration or accreditation under the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) shall be good anywhere were a journalist or media person might go to,” he said.
Freelance journalist Filbert Kufainyore concurred with Mhike adding that the life of a press card should also be extended from the current one year.
“The Bill must also extend accreditation terms limits because once a journalist you remain a journalist. Some they even operate till death,” he said.
In an interview, committee chairperson Prince Dubeko Sibanda concurred adding every other body in the country should acknowledge the ZMC accreditation as it is a done by a statutory body.
“Multiple accreditations of journalists are something that is worrying in the sense that as a nation which is organized surely if the Zimbabwe Media Commission accredits a journalist then all bodies should be able to
acknowledge that accreditation which would have been done by the constitutional body.
“There shouldn’t be other smaller bodies which will then demand their own form of accreditation.
“I indicated to the participants who raised the multiple accreditation concern to put their submission in writing so that they give us their opinions on how for example we can remove accreditation by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) because we don’t believe that ZEC has to duplicate the role that would have already been done by the ZMC,” said Honourable Sibanda.