CIVIC society group Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has warned the State-controlled media to desist from fuelling and supporting crimes against humanity, by downplaying gross human rights violations being perpetrated by State security agents.
CiZC said it had noted with concern that the State media had been targeting and criminalising the work of civic society organisations.
“Such partisan and unprofessional conduct on the part of the State media has placed the lives of many civic society actors at great risk, especially given the brutality of the regime,” the umbrella grouping of non-governmental organisations said in a statement.
“The State media has a history of (propagating) hate language against civic society organisations and this has been the basis upon which the government has been arresting, abducting and even killing civic society actors.”
CiZC said the State media was acting in an unprofessional manner and against the tenets of democracy.
“Since the current government came into power through a military coup in November 2017, the State media has deliberately chosen not to condemn or report on the murder, torture and rape of civilians by the army, but has rather adopted a public relations stance in a brazen attempt to underplay the brutality of the army against civilians,” the grouping said.
“We need to put it on record that the State media, (from the Gukurahundi atrocities which left over 20 000 civilians dead) has been an accomplice in the murder and torture of civilians through misrepresentation of facts and such a practice cannot be allowed to continue.”
CiZC said the role of the media should be to promote respect for fundamental human rights as well as the right to life.