By Yvonne Manjengwa
07 February 2018 – There were enchanted scenes today on the streets of Harare, as few members of the United Citizens Alliance (UCA) protesters marched to demand media reforms.
The march started at 10 am from Julius Nyerere corner Jason Moyo to the Parliament of Zimbabwe.
Addressing people who had joined the march, chairperson of UCA, Mr Mugari said despite of the fact that the police had given them a limited number of people to march through Zimbabwe’s capital, their message is clear and straight forward that they only demand freedom of media houses and access to information gathering/dissemination and media reforms.
“We say no to monopoly. Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation has turned into ZANU PF television, other opposition party rallies are not broadcasted, only those of ZANU PF are broadcasted, and we want change. ZBC TV must be a television for all parties. Presidents should have their debates stream-lived on ZBC so that people can see who’s fit to be voted for”, said Mugari.
Mugari noted that they were giving the government 21 days to respond to their petition.
“We do not want the 2008 situation, history must not repeat itself. The upcoming elections must be free, fair and credible. We want a new dispensation in action not on newspapers and radios.”
Some of the placards were written “NO TO POSTPONEMENT OF ELECTIONS”, “STOP THREATS AND VIOLENCE, AND ZIMBABWE WILL PROSPER”, “ITS OUR RIGHT TO DEMAND PEACE, and JUSTICE AND GOOD GOVERNANCE” among others.
The President of Transform Zimbabwe, Jacob Ngarivhume also addressed the mob noting that there’s every need to deal with electoral reforms and media reforms.
“We are completely locked out of ZBC and we need media reforms so as to avoid rigging. The military services must not be part of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission”, said Ngarivhume.
UCA noted that if the government does not respond to their petition, the citizens will protest in numbers with or without the permission of the police.