Page not yet turned on Mugabe era

Installed as president in November 2017 and then elected to the position in July 2018, Emmerson Mnangagwa, Robert Mugabe’s former vice-president, has promised to reinforce the pillars of democracy including the media, which were harassed and gagged for 37 years under his dictatorial predecessor. However, Mnangagwa was notorious for suppressing dissent when he was national security minister and his first steps with regard to press freedom have been marked more by promises than concrete progress. Access to information has improved and self-censorship has declined, but many journalists were subjected to violence during the presidential elections, often by members of the security forces and sometimes by political activists. The security apparatus continues to harass and intimidate journalists and acts of intimidation, verbal attacks and confiscation of equipment are all still standard practice. The blocking of social networks at the start of 2019, when major protests against a fuel price hike were being organized, shows that the regime has not renounced the use of cyber-censorship to prevent information from circulating. The extremely harsh media laws are still in effect because the promises reforms have yet to materialize.

in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index



126 in 2018

Global score


40.53 in 2018

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2020
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