By Robert Tapfumaneyi
THE Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has apologised after a guest ‘insulted’ people living with albinism during a television programme aired on Monday.
The apology comes followed an outcry from viewers and human rights activists, most accusing the national broadcaster of promoting hate against people living with albinism.
Director of productions and television services Robson Mhandu said ZBC acknowledged that the programme “misinformed” viewers and that “facts” needed to be corrected.
“We are going to issue an apology to people living with albinism tonight (Wednesday) during Main News and, as I am speaking to you, we are in the studio editing the promo,” said Mhandu in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com.
“The programme where a guest said albinism is a result of witchcraft does not in anyway portrays the views of the national broadcaster but those where his personnel views.
“We have since acknowledge that it was wrong to air such a programme and would like to apologise to people living with albinism and people living with disability for any harm it may have caused and will ensure that in future no such programmes will find air space.”
The production services boss also said ZBC has since engaged an association of people living with albinism to set the record straight.
“The albino association, representing and fighting for the rights of people living with albinism, are coming for a TV programme which we hope will set the record straight and educate, not only viewers, but our producers and the guests as well all about albinism,” said Mhandu.
People living with albinism have persecuted and even murdered based on myths that their body parts possess supernatural powers.
Patriach Nyaude, a guest on ZTV Current Affairs programme ‘Spiritual Highway’ told viewers that “albinism is a result of witchcraft”.
The remarks dew outraged reactions from ordinary people and human rights activist. Most demanded that the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) fine the national broadcaster and urged the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) to institute an investigation with the view to possibly sanctioning those who were behind the production and airing of the programme.