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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid