The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe has condemned the denial of a passport to journalist Violet Gonda by the Registrar General’s department this week saying it was a violation of the right to citizenship enshrined in the national Constitution.
In a statement, MISA said this was a reflection of the old administrative system which criminalized journalism.
“MISA Zimbabwe condemns this latest attempt by a government to punish a journalist for carrying out her constitutionally guaranteed duties. Journalism is not a crime, and those that practice this profession should not be treated like criminals,” reads the statement.
MISA Zimbabwe also highlighted that this was not reflective of the shift from the draconian past preached by President Mnangagwa’s administration.
“These acts by the government are contrary to the promises and pronouncements by President Mnangagwa that Zimbabwe is breaking with its dark past,
“The government of Zimbabwe has a constitutional obligation to promote and protect the right to free speech and media freedom in Zimbabwe.”
Gonda left Zimbabwe in 2000 to pursue studies abroad and only returned this year after the ascension of President Mnangagwa on a United Kingdom passport and later applied for a passport from the registry department only to be denied on the grounds that she was on an exclusion list dating back to 2002 according to media reports.