Airwaves unchanged

zbcHARARE - As the country heads towards elections there is little to show in terms of the liberalisation of the airwaves. Zanu (PF) enjoys unlimited airspace at ZBC while the same has not been accorded to other political parties. Although just a wish list, the SADC Election Norms and Guidelines, of which Zimbabwe is a signatory, explicitly and unequivocally states that politic

In Article 19 of the GPA the two MDC formations and Zanu PF agreed to “ensure the immediate processing by the appropriate authorities of all applications for re-registration and registration in terms of both the Broadcasting Service Act as well as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act”.

Almost two years down the line that has not been fulfilled and many people wonder whether the still to be constituted Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) will come into effect before the next elections.

Recently Welshman Ncube, one of the negotiators of the GPA, shocked those attending a broadcasting conference that was organised by Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) when he said that there was no hope for the opening of the airwaves because parties in the Inclusive Government were now focusing on elections.

In its August-October periodic report the Civil Society Monitoring Mechanism (CISSOMM) noted that: “No new licences to broadcasters have been issued.

State broadcaster (ZBC) remains deplorably partisan-in fact it prefers to play Zanu PF campaign jiggles than to flight adverts of national significance.”

Many people have had enough of ZBC’s partisan stance and they have opted for the free to air satellite dish receivers “I cannot watch ZBC because of its long boring documentaries which are biased towards Zanu (PF). It is better to watch South African television stations,” said Lovemore Toendepi from Chitungwiza.

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