The Chair of Zimbabwe's Parliamentary select committee on the media has
made a verbal stand against the inclusion of 'media hangmen' in the
Zimbabwe Information Commission, saying the government will not allow
the likes of Jonathan Moyo or Tafataona Mahoso to be involved, writes Alex Bell for SW Radio Africa.

Tongai Matutu, the urban legislator in Masvingo, told a news briefing that Moyo and Mahoso are responsible for the dire state that Zimbabwean media is in because of their records of stifling media freedom. He told journalists there would be no place for either of them on the new media regulatory board.

Moyo, who is the controversial former Minister of Information and Publicity, was the architect of the draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). He presided over the closure of independent newspapers such as The Daily News and The Tribune through the now defunct Media and Information Commission (MIC), which in turn was headed by Mahoso.

"We are not going to allow media hangmen to find themselves on the new commission," said Matutu.

"The likes of Moyo and Mahoso will not be considered for any post because they are responsible for the mess in which we are," he added.

The High Court has already ruled that the MIC is now null and void, but in a sign that media reform is still a long way off in Zimbabwe, a group of journalists were turned away from the opening of the Comesa summit earlier this month. The four, who won a landmark case against the government on the legality of the MIC, were refused entry to the event for not having accreditation, despite the High Court order declaring the MIC illegal being granted two days before.

Click here to read the full report, posted on SW Radio Africa's website.