Zimbabwe’s official electoral body says it will for the first time take disciplinary action against journalists for unfair reporting ahead of the nation’s upcoming elections.
Electoral Commission head Judge Rita Makarau said Monday it will start monitoring media reports on the polls set for July 31.
Makarau said all political parties must be given “equitable” coverage in the independent media and the dominant state-run media controlled by loyalists of longtime President Robert Mugabe.
Equal media access was set as a condition of a power-sharing deal forged by regional leaders between Mugabe and former opposition leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai after violent and disputed elections in 2008.
But it has not been adhered to by Mugabe’s state media and the sole national broadcaster.