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

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.