The Board announced by Ignatious Chombo is chaired by former Education minister, Aeneas Chigwedere who is deputized by Mrs Konzani Ncube. President Robert Mugabe’s daughter, Bona Mugabe Chikore, Police Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba, Runyararo Magadzire, Chief Nyamukoho Samson Katsande, Regis Chikowore, Shingai Rukwata Ndoro, Chenjerai Daitai, Tungamirai Muganhiri and Catholic Priest Father Fidelis Mukonori were appointed to sit in the board.
While others took to tweeter, facebook and various other social media platforms including whatsapp, the majority of citizens lambasted the move arguing that this marked the beginning of increasing censorship as the country heads towards the watershed polls.
“What experience does Bona that has seen her being given such a post?” queried one twitter user only identified as Fatso, who described the appointment as mere nepotism and bootlicking by the minister.
Added another commentator identified as Greg Hope, “Zimbabwe’s greatest challenge is that we have people who are surrounding Mugabe who are only interested in ensuring that they elevate the Mugabe family at the expense of the country. What expertise does she have to sit on that board?”
“The Board is a direct violation of the rights of citizens to express themselves artistically,” added actor and producer, Silvanos Mudzvova.
Law expert Dr Alex Magaisa dismissed the Censorship Board as unconstitutional arguing that the minister lied that it was provided for in the Constitution. Magaisa argued that this board was provided for by the Entertainment Control and Censorship Act though this could now be ultra vires the Constitution.
The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has in the past been calling on government to speedily align the country’s laws to the Constitution instead of investing on amendments.
“The government has not shown the political will to align the country’s laws to the Constitution, a development which has the potential to see the supreme law of the land being violated,” said the CiZC in a statement.
The home affairs minister is on record acknowledging that the constitution has a provision for the freedom of artistic expression, cultural beliefs and association.
However, he added that the same constitution empowered the board of censors to ensure that these freedoms do not infringe on other people’s rights.Post published in: Entertainment