Zimbabwean press accused of lack of balance

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Electoral Network of Southern Africa observer Bishop Paul Verryn says the media has not contributed to ensuring a free and fair election for Zimbabwe.

Verryn says that while there has been no violence and intimidation and political parties have been free to campaign ahead of Monday’s poll, there has been a lack of balanced reporting by the local Zimbabwean press.

“There is a feeling that the press has been appalling in terms of a very one side and sometimes quite deliberate misrepresentation of some of the candidates particularly Nelson Chamisa and so I suppose as one looks at the chances that you give ultimately those things do affect a free and fair outcome. One needs to recognise that if a democracy is to work it must listen to the opposing views of both sides.”

Verryn says the prominent role of the military and intelligence agencies in Zimbabwe’s political system has raised questions among ordinary Zimbabweans on the prospects of a free election.

“President Mngangwa’s association with the military has created huge anxiety you know when I was back in South Africa it was one of the issues that kept being raised. How can you have a free election when the head of the army now governs and where the army has infiltrated every village throughout the country and where the army knows so many individuals throughout the country and so people are very anxious that their vote will not be secret that they will be sniffed out.” Click below for more on Zimbabwe’s election: