The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has appealed to government to reevaluate the feasibility of its annual media accreditation system in favor of a longer period of up to five years.
MISA Zimbabwe said reviewing the current accreditation regime, in favor of extended accreditation periods will rid logistical nightmares of yearly accreditations, in a sector blighted by sustainability and viability challenges.
“We have noted beyond any doubt, that the annual accreditation processes pose logistical nightmares, hence the need to consider periods between two and five years.
“Further, the impact of the ravaging pandemic calls upon the government and media stakeholders to reflect on the feasibility of the obtaining annual media registration and accreditation processes.
“The proposed timelines will provide the Commission adequate time to plan and liaise with the Ministry in reviewing and gazetting fees seamlessly,” reads part of the statement.
“Meanwhile, MISA Zimbabwe urged ZMC to decentralize and speedily undertake the registration and accreditation processes for the convenience of media companies and journalists in line with the current lockdown regulations and measures,” added MISA.
MISA also rejected the hike in the annual accreditation fees warning that it could curtail enjoyment of constitutional rights.
“MISA Zimbabwe is cognizant of the hyperinflationary environment that Zimbabwe is operating under, but is of the view that this does not justify hiking the fees by more than 400 percent when viewed against the serious sustainability and viability challenges that the media sector in Zimbabwe is grappling with.
Registration fees for mass media services, community mass media and news agency is pegged at ZW$60 000, ZW$30 000 and ZW$40 000 respectively, increasing by over 400 per from ZW$15 000, ZW$5 000 and ZW$8 000.
Local journalists are now required to pay ZW$600 for a first applicant and ZW$500 for renewal of accreditation, fees which were previously pegged at ZW$120 and ZW$80 respectively.