New broadcasting law seeks to end alleged ZBC bias towards Zanu PF

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

GOVERNMENT’S new broadcasting law is set to free public media from any interference by the State amid continued claims by the opposition the media empire was biased towards Zanu PF.

Addressing journalists at a post-cabinet media briefing in Harare Tuesday, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said cabinet has approved, in principle, the Broadcasting Services Amendment Bill.

The law seeks to harmonise the Broadcasting Services Act with the constitution.

The proposed amendments seek to establish the Broadcasting and Communication Authority through the merging of Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) and Postal Telecommunication Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ).

Said Mutsvangwa, “That every person has the right to freedom of expression and freedom of media; that freedom of expression and freedom of the media excludes incitement to violence, excludes advocates of hatred or hate speech, malicious injury to a person’s reputation or dignity, malicious or unwarranted breach of person right to privacy.

“It also talks about to the freedom establishing other electronic media of communications subject only to state licensing procedures.

“That all State owned media of communication must be impartial and free to determine independently the editorial content of their broadcast.”

This comes after the Nelson Chamisa led MDC and other opposition parties continue to accuse their common rival, President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his party of manipulating State owned media to become Zanu PF mouthpieces.

Addressing party supporters during a recent memorial held in honour of late founding MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, current party leader Nelson Chamisa said the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation has not abandoned its biases against his party, even under the post-Robert Mugabe era.

President Mnangagwa and his wife have also been accused of monopolising public media after the two have featured continuously almost on a daily basis.