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Media Reform in Zimbabwe Advances Despite Dispute Over Commission

Speaker Lovemore Moyo of the Zimbabwean House of Assembly has forwarded a short list of candidates for a new Media Commission and a revamped Broadcasting Authority to President Robert Mugabe despite objections from ZANU-PF committee members who proposed to submit the matter to the leaders of the three co-governing political parties.

ZANU-PF members of the Standing Committee on Rules and Orders which drafted the short list after public testimony by 27 nominees were reportedly angered that Tafataona Mahoso, former chairman of the now-defunct Media and Information Commission, was not included among the 18 candidates for the two bodies forwarded to the President's office.

Moyo said the media commission selection process would proceed as spelled out under the September 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing.

Correspondent Irwin Chifera reported from Harare for VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe.

For insight on whether the selection process has escaped politicization, reporter Patience Rusere turned to Abel Chikomo, former advocacy coordinator of the Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe, and London-based political analyst Brilliant Mhlanga, a doctoral candidate at Westminister University's Communication and Media Research Institute.

Mhlanga said a reputable private consultancy company should have vetted candidates for the media and broadcasting entities rather than political party members.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...