HomePoliticsMedia Should be Self- regulating: Tsvangirai

Media Should be Self- regulating: Tsvangirai

THE government is still to constitute the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) board, rendering null and void the board announced in September by Information minister Webster Shamu Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said this week.

According to Tsvangirai, Shamu appointed the BAZ board, chaired by Tafataona Mahoso, in disregard of the global political agreement, which states that President Robert Mugabe should make key appointments in consultation with the premier.

After Mugabe and Tsvangirai agree on all the board members, the MDC-T argued, the President’s Office must then seek the views of the Standing Rules and Orders Committee of parliament with respect to nine of the 12 members.

The two leaders are, however, bound to appoint at least three from six nominations made by the committee.

None of these processes were followed when Shamu announced the Mahoso-led board, which included two retired military personnel — retired Brigadier-General Elasto Madzingira and retired Colonel Reuben Mqwayi.

“The final composition has not yet been decided upon, despite the premature announcement to the contrary and once it has, I trust that it too will play a significant part in ensuring Zimbabwe’s broadcast environment becomes truly representative,” said Tsvangirai at the launch of the Report on the Public Broadcast Media.

He said after having been a victim of the bias and hate language by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), he wanted to see it transformed into a true public broadcaster.

“I am in favour of moves to transform our state broadcaster into a truly public broadcaster — why not when I have been a victim. Sometimes I wonder if they are serving two different governments. The broadcasting services in Zimbabwe leave a lot to be desired,” Tsvangirai said.

He also pointed out that although they had approved the composition of the Zimbabwe Media Commission, which he described as a fair, representative and progressive group of people who are determined to put the country’s best interests ahead, he believed in self-regulation.

“Indeed, I do not support the argument that due to the potential power of the media the state has an obligation to ensure it is properly regulated. Instead, I am a strong proponent of the view that due to its power, and the inalienable right of freedom of information and freedom of expression, the state should play no role in its regulation,” Tsvangirai said.

 

Faith Zaba

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