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ZBH monopoly under attack

Itai Mushekwe

ZIMBABWE Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) has come under attack for its monopoly over the airwaves and its disposition to peddle state propaganda as news.



a, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>This emerged at a meeting organised by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) as part of its campaign to open the “airwaves and reclaim the public broadcaster”.


Misa chairperson, Thomas Deve, expressed concern over the punitive legal framework in which the media is operating. He said the ZBH had deviated from its mandate to serve the public by pursuing a state-tailored editorial policy.


At the Southern Africa Social Forum which opened in Harare on Thursday, former editor-in-chief of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Shepherd Mutamba, expressed frustration with the state broadcaster’s monopoly over the airwaves, which he said denied Zimbabweans freedom of choice.


“The tragedy about Zimbabwe is the absence of a public media serving a full spectrum of public interest. What is obtaining is a truly state media propagating and protecting government policy and interests,” said Mutamba.


“We have a state media pandering to the whims of government without question or regret. It is designed to defy basic theories of communication by disallowing interactive speech except where it suits the piper. In other words what we have is a monopolistic state media feeding off public coffers without being made accountable to the public,” he said.


Mutamba said the ZBH’s brief was to give voice to the ruling party and its sympathisers. A Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe report recently revealed that Zanu PF and government were getting unprecedented airwaves coverage.

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