ZMC must explain licensing delays: PM

tsvangirai_morganHARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says he will this week summon the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) to ascertain why it has not issued a single licence since it was appointed nearly three months ago.

Tsvangirai told journalists on Sunday that it was misleading for the ZMC, headed by former state broadcaster Godfrey Majonga, to claim it had no money to meet or conclude the business of registering journalists and new mass media houses, saying Finance Minister Tendai Biti had provided the media supervisory body with required funds.

“I am going to summon the ZMC to my office to impress on them that they are independent as per the GPA (global political agreement),” said Tsvangirai.

“They must just do the job. The nation is waiting.”

Tsvangirai’s comments follow weekend reports that that the ZMC had last week postponed a critical workshop to expedite the licensing of new media players because of financial constraints.

Sources said the postponement of the workshop would result in further delays in licensing new newspapers in a country where the state has a monopoly in the media.

The commission requires prospective media operators to provide among other things a code of ethics, projected balance sheet, editorial charter, code of conduct for employees, market analysis, attach a dummy, mission statement, house style book and projected three-year cash flow statement.

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