MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora sends strong message to journalists ahead of August 2023 elections


MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora met with journalists this week to pledge his party’s support for media freedom and vow to combat hate speech in the run up to Zimbabwe’s August elections.

In a meeting at MDC-T headquarters in Harare, Mwonzora emphasized that hate speech was a major trigger of violence in past elections. He said the media plays an important role in fighting hate language by exposing it.

“We will support the press in the fight against hate speech…Once we fight that we will fight violence,” Mwonzora said. He promised journalists that any violence, from any political party, would be exposed.

Mwonzora expressed full support for press freedom and journalists’ rights, promising unfettered access for media to cover his party’s activities. “There must be freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and opinion,” he said.

The MDC-T leader called on the media to provide fair and even-handed coverage of all political players in the elections. “The press must ensure an even playing field…You report things as is at my rallies, Mnangagwa’s rallies and Chamisa’s rallies,” Mwonzora said.

He also voiced concerns about the prosecution of opposition figures for allegedly communicating falsehoods.

The meeting between Mwonzora and journalists was organized by several media and press freedom organizations, including the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists. Perfect Hlongwane of ZUJ said the aim was for political parties and media to “find one another” and reduce suspicion ahead of the crucial elections.

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