Mugabe struggling to cope with new media environment

Harare, – President Robert Mugabe on Monday said journalists should be free to do their work but quickly criticised the local media for reporting negatively about Zimbabwe’s coalition administration.

“Press freedom means just that, press freedom, but freedom to report on what is progressive to society,” he told journalists on his return from the Vatican.

“Yes the negative must be reported but it must not be created by the media. Most parts of our media focus on the negative, the negative always and the conflicts between our leaders but never look at the constructive and positive work that is being done by the inclusive government. We look forward to being informed and objectively criticised, and objectively praised.”

Mugabe on Monday also criticised the Italians for denying ZBC’s chief reporter Reuben Barwe a visa to travel in his delegation to Rome where he attended the beatification of the late pontiff Pope John Paul II.

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“I was surprised and shocked that on this holy trip there was an unholy decision to bar one of our journalists called Reuben Barwe,” he said.

Barwe is among a group of local journalists who were included on the EU and American sanctions blacklist dominated by politicians for abetting Mugabe’s regime violate human rights in Zimbabwe.