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    Friday, 5 February 2016

    Don’t talk to journalists– Chikomba DA tells chiefs

    Miriam Mangwaya
    Chivhu Bureau

    Chivhu – The District Administrator for Chikomba, Clemence Masawi has shocked traditional leaders from this Mashonald East Province when he dissuaded them from making comments or talking to the media before consulting him.
    Masawi is alleged to have told traditional leaders who attended a meeting held at the Council Hall in Chivhu on Thursday last week that they should consult him before making any comments to journalists.
    Masawi's instruction is however, in stark contrast to the dictates of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which guarantees Press freedom. It is also a violation of the chiefs' right to access the media and people's right to get information from their chiefs.
    The hallmark of the constitution is accountability and accountability can only come through the free-flow of information.
    Sources said that Masawi was increasingly worried with The Mirror's penetration of Chikomba, a district which barely received media coverage before the opening of a bureau by the newspaper in Chivhu at the beginning of 2015.
    It is understood that Masawi's superiors in Marondera and Harare are learning a lot of things through Mirror reports and they have in turn been asking questions to the DA.
    Masawi allegedly told the chiefs that said if information is imparted to the media, it would create problems when his superiors approach him inquiring about those issues covered in the Press.
    However, several traditional leaders who contacted The Mirror expressed shock at the DA's position and said that they were actually benefitting from The Mirror's coverage as they were exposing ills and getting information to their subjects at zero cost.
    One of the chiefs who declined to be named said that corrupt activities were being exposed as a result of the coverage.
    "Chiefs who were in the meeting generally agreed that it is not the DA's business to interfere with their business and the media. After all, it is through the media that development projects are highlighted and people in other areas are able to emulate. The same applies if corrupt activities are covered; unscrupulous leaders will act righteously because they will know that they are being watched," said the chief who declined to be named. news
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