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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid