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Constitution debates off the airwaves
Human Rights Association (ZimRights)
July 16, 2010
are complaining about limited access to information on the Constitution
making process, media reports reveal that Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation (ZBC), the country's sole broadcaster has banned
constitution related debates on all its radio stations.
Sources at the
ZBC headquarters in Highlands said this was decided after a Sport
FM presenter invited an analyst on the constitution-making program
for an hour, who outwardly spoke against the Kariba
Draft. To effectively communicate the news to the ZBC workers,
the radio and Programming General Manager, Allan Chiweshe visited
all radio substations and warned against any such programs being
aired. Failure to follow this instruction will be met with dismissal.
ZimRights demands that
ZBC open up its services and air such much information on the constitution
making process as possible especially on radio. Radio is an efficient
mode of communication, which reaches the largest audience in Zimbabwe.
Thus, it should be exploited to mobilize and educate Zimbabweans
on the constitution making process.
Meanwhile, from the public
meeting held by COPAC, inclusion of more indigenous languages in
the new constitution as official languages has been a case in point.
Some of the suggested languages were Tonga, Nambya, Dombe and Lubale
particularly in Matebeleland North, the residents of Hwange want
Tonga and Nambya to be taught in schools instead of only Ndebele.
They are also complaints of the use of English at the expense of
local languages in education. The people suggested that other subjects
have textbooks written in our indigenous languages and also be taught
in these vernaculars.
Other issues that many
Zimbabweans were free to talk on were gay rights, devolution of
power and the dearth penalty.
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Human Rights Association (ZimRights) fact
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