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Journalists from across the country will finally hold a march to mark World Press Freedom Day in Harare tomorrow after the initial march was stopped by police on May 3 for no clear reasons.

Zimbabwe Union of Journalists president Michael Chideme yesterday said the march would start at 9am at Town House to Africa Unity Square where a number of speakers have been lined up.

“We are very happy that the powers that be have finally seen the light and approved our march, but we are still sceptical about how the whole issue was handled because it does not portray the image of the country in good light,” he said.

“Ordinarily, we would not expect the police to disperse a celebratory march.”

Chideme called on journalists to rally behind the march and use the platform to air their issues to authorities.

He said some of the issues affecting journalists included poor remuneration and working conditions, their safety while discharging their duties and lack of proper accommodation.

Mr Chideme said journalists were also aocating a national employment council for journalists and media workers and an improvement of conditions of service for sit-in correspondents and freelance journalists.

Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo criticised the police for barring journalists from marching on May 3, saying the decision was “patently unconstitutional”.

Police had sanctioned the march, but their anti-riot colleagues dispersed dozens of journalists who had gathered for the annual commemorations.

Prof Moyo, officials from ZUJ, Unesco and other stakeholders are expected to attend the event tomorrow.

The World Press Freedom Day is commemorated on May 3 every year.

Source : The Herald

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