By Sean Moyo – ZOCC Spokesperson
The Zimbabwe Online Content Creators (ZOCC), has filed an urgent chamber application to challenge the recently promulgated new accreditation criteria by the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC).
The new regulations would see accreditation criteria altered and split into different categories, some of which would disadvantage online content creators as they would fail to access certain state events.
ZOCC views these changes as counterproductive and reduces media freedoms and rights as espoused in various statutes, of which Zimbabwe is a signatory.
ZOCC president Toneo Rutsito said that the move by the ZMC is illegal and is likely to be abused to the disadvantage of various online content creators, on whose behalf the court action is being made.
“ZMC is only empowered to accredit local and foreign journalists according to Statutory Instrument 169C of 2002, the introductions of other categories are in violation of section 61 and 62 of the Zimbabwe constitution; needless to say, if this goes unchallenged, the ZOCC members will be discriminated and denied access from state events on the basis of ID colour”, said the ZOCC president.
“This can not be allowed to go unchallenged as our members are already being denied access to certain state events on borderline frivolous grounds.” he continued
“ZOCC strongly believes in the freedom of media and upholding of ethical, credible and balanced journalism, as cornerstone values that build and strengthen the media society. ”
“We yearn for an era where media laws are relaxed or repealed and allow each and every media practitioner to self regulate as they continue to play their pivotal role of the fourth estate” added Rutsito.
ZOCC is a voluntary association of Online Content Creators comprised of bloggers, vloggers, animators, graphics players amongst others who predominantly publish their creativity on the Internet.
We had hoped that the current negotiations between the ZMC and MISA would bring closure to the matter without any need to drag each other to the courts but however, the discussions did not yield a favorable response, and it is now a threat to our existence.