An insult to the people

The decision by Tafataona Mahoso and his Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe to award radio licences to government newspaper group, Zimpapers and Super Mandiwanzira’s AB Communications, demonstrates one point: it is impossible to build a new Zimbabwe when relying on the same people that got us into this mess in the first place.

Mahoso’s reason for granting the licences to members or allies of the same camp (Zanu (PF)) that has monopolised the national airwaves for all these decades is that the two firms scored the highest out of the four companies short-listed and interviewed by the BAZ.

“On the basis of the total points scored by the applicants, AB Communications and Zimpapers …. are the winners of the two licences for the provision of free-to-air national commercial radio broadcasting services,” Mahoso told the nation last week.

Clearly, either Mahoso simply does not understand a thing about media diversity – which, of course, isn’t surprising – or what we have here is yet another case of a Zanu (PF) functionary arrogantly giving Zimbabweans the middle finger.

The whole point behind the call for broadcast media reforms, ‘Comrade’ Mahoso, is to allow a plurality of voices by creating space for more players other than Zanu (PF) and its surrogates.

The objective of media reforms alone automatically disqualifies Zimpapers and AB Communications. By virtue of who they are – Zanu (PF) lackeys – the two firms should never have been on the shortlist in the first place, no matter how good their business plans or intentions were.

By granting licences to Zimpapers and AB Communications, the BAZ has paved the way for two more voices sympathetic to Zanu (PF) to go on air to bore us to death. We don’t want any more propaganda extolling the ‘virtues’ of a party whose ruinous policies have reduced our once-proud country to a laughingstock.

And with Mahoso planning to issue more local radio licences for each of the 14 biggest urban centres, you can expect to have your own local mini-ZBC to remind you just how blessed you are to have lived under a Zanu (PF) government for the past three decades. What an insult to our intelligence!

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga
  1. Arne

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