Ensure our security during elections -Masvingo journalists

Masvingo-based journalists have called on police to ensure total security of the media ahead of the forthcoming watershed plebiscite expected between July and August.
Journalists from different media houses who gathered at Masvingo Civic Centre’s Press Club for belated World Press Freedom Day on Saturday said they were building confidence on the new dispensation led by President Mnangagwa who always preached peace and unity among citizens and hopes were right that media would be guaranteed of total safety.
A senior journalist who is also the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe member, Tatenda Chitagu said media freedom remained an epitome of every democratic nation for which the new President was always an advocate.
“We have realised that the new dispensation has a soft spot for media, may it be state or independent media. We derive our hope from such overture and hope as journalists in Masvingo we will be allowed to do our work freely and in a peaceful environment before, during and after the forthcoming harmonised elections,” said Chitagu.
A United Kingdom-based Oxford University graduate who is also currently pursuing a PHD in Media with the same institution said polarisation of the media had significantly subsided that there was a `signal` that better times were lying ahead for the local media.
“I can safely say our media is no longer censured as what it was during the old administration led by former President Robert Mugabe. It was even hard to write a balanced story for most journalists as we feared to be censored and that was a slap in the face of professionalism. As we commemorate World Press Freedom Day, we are celebrating freely without fear of media hangmen,” he said.
MISA Masvingo Chapter Chairman Passmore Kuzipa also hailed the conducive environment currently prevailing in the country and said it was giving the media a breathing space to operate freely and objectively.
“This is an important event to remember as journalists in Masvingo . We are part of the global family of journalists and we also advocate for media freedom so that we discharge our duties freely without hindrance. We are the fourth estate and we expect the powers that be to put that into cognisance so that we also appreciate their efforts to appreciate our existence. We also call for the opening of airwaves and licensing of many newspapers given the huge number of media graduates churned out by colleges and universities every year,” said Kuzipa.
The commemorations saw journalists doing a procession from the Croco Motors to Masvingo Civic Centre, displaying banners and flyers with messages on media freedom.World Press Freedom Day falls on May 3 every year.