Four journalists, who last week won a landmark case against the
government over the legality of the Media and Information Commission
(MIC), were this weekend barred from attending the Comesa summit for
not being accredited, writes Alex Bell for SW Radio Africa.
The Information Ministry two weeks ago instructed all journalists wishing to cover the event to register for accreditation with the MIC. The freelance journalists took the state to court over the issue and on Friday, High Court Judge Bharat Patel ruled that the MIC was now a defunct body and as such no journalist in the country was legally required to register with it.
The court granted the journalists an interim order barring Information Minister Webster Shamu, his permanent secretary George Charamba, MIC chairman Dr Tafataona Mahoso and others, from interfering with the operations of the four journalists in their work.
But the journalists, Stanley Gama, Valentine Maponga, Stanley Kwenda and Jealous Mawarire, were on Sunday turned away from the summit venue in Victoria Falls by security details. The security officials insisted that the journalists, despite the production of the High Court order, could not cover the event as they were not on the Information MinistryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s list of journalists accredited to cover the summit.
Lawyers for the MIC have also announced that they will appeal against the High CourtÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s ruling, in a clear sign that media reform in Zimbabwe is still a long way from being achieved.
Click here to read the full report, posted on SW Radio Africa's website.