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Zimbabwe threatens to regulate internet journalism

By Correspondent

ZIMBABWE has threatened to regulate internet such as China to prevent on line publications such as www.zimdiaspora.com being read in the country, it has been learnt.

Media, Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu said there should be appropriate regulations to the internet and other new media platforms as they have a potential to cause strife in society.

Minister Shamu said it was important to instill in citizens and the journalism fraternity progressive values anchored on clear appreciation of national history and cultural heritage so that they appropriately exercise citizen journalism.

The minister said this during a meeting with Deputy Minister of the State Counsel Information Office of China, Mr Qian Xiaoqian, who is in the country for a familiarisation visit.

Minister Shamu said there should be leverage on social media for the people’s good.

“However, it is also important to note that if not wisely utilised and appropriately regulated, these platforms can be a cause of strife in society.

“The so-called citizen journalism facet of the new media means everyone has the potential to disseminate information that is not sometimes inaccurate or undesirable, information which may indeed be in total disregard of the national interest and lead to uncalled for internal strife in a country,” said Minister Shamu.

“Self-censorship, which is a cornerstone in sensible dissemination of information in both the traditional and new media, assumes an abundance of progressive thought in society.”

The minister commended the good bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and China saying Beijing has always supported Harare in the wake of the onslaught by the West.

Zimbabwe, said Minister Shamu, recognised Beijing as the legitimate government of mainland China and Taiwan.

“We support your country on the One China Policy and we continue to plead with our sister countries in the Sadc region to do the same. China should safeguard its territory and national unity by preventing Taiwan from being separated from the mainland. We support your principle of one country, two systems,” he said.

Mr Qian said China would continue to support Zimbabwe, particularly in condemning the illegal sanctions against Harare.

“We will continue calling for the sanctions removal,” he said.

Mr Qian and his delegation latter visited the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings and held a meeting with parastatal’s management led by Mr Happison Muchechetere.

They also visited Zimpapers where they held a meeting with the company’s editors and senior executives led by the group chief executive officer, Mr Justin Mutasa.