News / Africa

Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai Slams Pro-Mugabe Media

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, (File).
Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, (File).

Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has condemned the recent allocation of two new radio licenses, both of which went to operators with records of partisan reporting. The 2008 agreement that brought the inclusive government to power said the airwaves should be opened up beyond media that support President Robert Mugabe.

Addressing parliament Thursday, Prime Minister Tsvangirai spoke of Zimbabwe’s mixed progress during this, the third year of the inclusive government which includes his Movement for Democratic Change party and President Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party.

In particular, Tsvangirai criticized the awarding of broadcast licenses to two new operators which have strong links to ZANU-PF. The Broadcast Authority of Zimbabwe was set up without reference to the MDC, and several political analysts say this is a contravention of the global political agreement, or GPA.

The only electronic media based inside Zimbabwe is the state broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, ZBC, which has four radio and two television stations. All are partisan and support ZANU-PF, according to the Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe.

The broadcasting authority, known as BAZ, recently reviewed applications from 13 hopefuls for two new national radio stations.

Without giving any reasons, it awarded one to a new division of Zimbabwe Newspapers, which publishes dailies that make no secret of their support for ZANU-PF. The other license went to a group led by a former ZBC employee who also openly supports President Mugabe's party.

"To all intents and purposes, this has become a national joke. One of the key reforms, as envisaged in the GPA and as agreed by the principals, is the issue of comprehensive media reforms, which includes introduction of more and diverse players in both the print and electronic media as well as the immediate cessation of hate speech. To date, there has been outright arrogance and intransigence from the responsible minister and his officials," Tsvangirai noted.

Tsvangirai said the BAZ had been set up illegally, in regards to the media reforms spelled out in the GPA. “The current illegally constituted BAZ board is now adjudicating and approving broadcasting licenses unlawfully. The current BAZ board needs to be directed to stop operating immediately and the licenses it has dished out immediately revoked," he stated.

There are several other public boards involved in Zimbabwe's media, and Tsvangirai called upon the ZANU-PF information minister Webster Shamu to reconstitute those boards according to agreements already made with Mr Mugabe last year.

"The editorial policies of the state newspapers and the state broadcaster has remained partisan and unreformed, and the media field remains dominated by the same partisan state players. The minister of media, information and publicity should finalize appointments of all the media boards,” Tsvangirai said.

Since the inclusive government came to power nearly three years ago three new privately-owned newspapers have begun publishing. One has since closed down for financial reasons, and the other two say they are doing well in terms of both circulation and advertising.

Tsvangirai also said that the 2012 budget depended heavily on revenues from diamond companies in eastern Zimbabwe, now cleared by the international regulator to export rough stones.

He said he wanted to see more transparency in sales from the diamond mines which are half owned by the government.

The prime minister said also said the pace political reform had been disappointing in 2011, and that political stability was the key to growth and ensuring free, fair and legitimate elections.

No ZANU-PF legislators were present Thursday for Tsvangirai's speech, his end-of-year address to parliament.



You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs