Home » Governance » Renewal Team Condemns Attempt to Censor Mugabe Fall

THE MDC Renewal Team has condemned the over-zealousness with which President Robert Mugabe’s agents’ reacted following the Zimbabwean leader’s embarrassing fall at the Harare International Airport on Wednesday.

Mugabe tumbled minutes after addressing supporters on his return from the African Union meeting where he was appointed chairperson of the continental body.

A group of journalists and photographers captured Mugabe’s fall but the CIO officers ordered them to delete the images from their devices.

The Renewal Team on Thursday said it “gly condemns the harassment of journalists” by the CIO.

A statement from the party said the “harassment of the media by the state agents is a blatant violation of the national constitution and an affront to media freedom. It is a national shame that state agents would try to black out an incident that happened in full view of hundreds of people.”

Mugabe fell to his knees after missing a step as he made his way to his official limousine causing panic among party and government heavyweights who watched in horror.

The Sekai Holland led political formation, however, said the fall was unfortunate.

“While we are not celebrating the unfortunate incident that saw the President falling, we condemn in the gest terms the harassment of journalists who were interrogated and ordered to delete pictures from their cameras. The fact that pictures and video footage of the now famous tumble have gone viral is a stark reminder to the state that in this day and age of aanced technology it is near impossible to silence the citizen’s voice,” the opposition party said.

“The MDC Renewal Team believes in a free press at all times. The media should be allowed to do their job in an independent manner at all times and we hope that what took place at the Harare International Airport will not be repeated again”.

The party said its position is that a free press is the hallmark of a democracy and “Zimbabwe cannot be seen to be swimming against the tide by attempting to muzzle the press, especially in this modern era where social media has become an integral part of the Fourth Estate.”

The party said the attempt to censor the media showed that “this regime is past its sell-by date and does not understand the dictates of modern information management”.

In the ensuing melee following the fall, state security details briefly detained journalists demanding that all videos and photographs taken of Mugabe’s fall should be deleted. The CIO also demanded that the journalists handover their media accreditation cards until such time they were satisfied their order had been carried out.

Source : New Zimbabwe