Era of uncertainty

A period of uncertainty for Zimbabwe’s media began when President Robert Mugabe resigned in November 2017 and was replaced by former state security minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. Although Mnangagwa is notorious for cracking down on dissent, some analysts thought he would seek positive change in Zimbabwe. During Mugabe’s 37 years in power, the authorities introduced oppressive media legislation and gagged the media, although press freedom is enshrined in the amended constitution of 2013. The laws provide for heavy sentences for coverage of protests, governmental corruption, unemployment, or poverty on the grounds that it constitutes fake news. There were many cases of journalists being harassed, arrested, convicted, or physically attacked during a wave of protests in 2016, and foreign reporters were not spared. Censorship of state and privately-owned media has nonetheless led to the emergence of alternative media on social networks that try to provide reliable, non-partisan reporting.

in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index



128 in 2017

Global score


41.44 in 2017

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2019
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2019
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2019
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