DESPITE claiming to be a democrat, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Mr Nelson Chamisa yesterday dropped a bombshell when he banned journalists perceived to be working with the ruling Zanu PF party from covering his rallies.
The CCC leader, who is referred by his rivals in the opposition as a tin-pot dictator, was yet again at his tyrannical worst as he slammed the door in the face of journalists who he deemed hostile to his party.
Speaking at a press conference in Harare yesterday, Mr Chamisa openly declared war on public media, claiming it is aligned to the ruling Zanu PF party.
“Those who are associated with Zanu PF may not be able to have access to our rallies. Our laxity, our magnanimity, and generosity are being abused. We will limit access to our venues to those journalists who are working for Zanu PF and we know you. We will not allow you,” said Mr Chamisa.
Mr Chamisa, who has made incendiary remarks at his rallies, shocked many in the media fraternity when he said his party will limit access to its rallies falling short of mentioning the Zimpapers, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), and the New Ziana stables that he has repeatedly accused of being biased.
But there is a method to Mr Chamisa latest move as his party, under his rule, is becoming highly secretive with him running the show all the while without a constitution or any structures.
Mr Chamisa’s remarks are anything but new as his party has a history of harassing and abusing journalists.
Last year The Herald Senior Reporter Joseph Madzimure was barred from attending a press conference that was being addressed by the CCC spokesperson Advocate Fadzai Mahere at the Media Centre in Harare.
In 2019, MDC violence against State media journalists reared its ugly when Mr Chamisa’s security team beat up a ZBC senior staffer at a rally at Mkoba Stadium in Gweru.
Another group of MDC youths swarmed the ZBC vehicle and threatened to beat up the news crew that was covering the rally, resulting in the reporters leaving the event in a haste.
The MDC youths once manhandled ZBC reporters at the same venue in 2018, accusing the public broadcaster of reporting “negatively” about their party.
In March 2018, Herald Senior Reporter Zvamaida Murwira and freelance journalist Anna Chibamu were also attacked at Harvest House while covering a Press conference to confirm Mr Chamisa as the leader of the party.
The then Herald photographer Tawanda Mudimu was also manhandled by MDC thugs while covering a demonstration by activists that were protesting against the imposition of candidates ahead of the harmonised elections.
In 2016, MDC youths also burnt a vehicle belonging to the State broadcaster during protests organised by the party’s youth wing.
In 2013, the late MDC leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s aides manhandled Chronicle senior reporter Mashudu Netsianda before confiscating his notebook and deleting recordings from his mobile phone while covering a meeting of the party’s former leader.-HERALD