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for Media Commission on Monday – Bill Watch Special
August 01, 2009
of Short-listed Applicants for Zimbabwe Media Commission and Broadcasting
Monday 3rd August,
9 am through to 5 pm in the Senate Chamber, Parliament
have been short-listed out of the 126 who applied for appointment
to the Media Commission [see list of names below] and each interview
is scheduled to last for 15 minutes. As well as selecting candidates
for the Commission, some candidates will also be selected for the
Board of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe.
Open to Public
The public will
be permitted to attend [to watch and to listen but not to participate].
As seating is limited, anyone wishing to attend is advised to check
with Parliament’s Public Relations office on Harare +263 4
700181. The public entrance to Parliament is on Kwame Nkrumah Avenue
between Second and Third Streets.
100N of the Constitution
it is the President who appoints the chairperson and the eight other
members of the Media Commission. But he must choose the appointees
from a list of at least twelve nominees submitted to him by Parliament’s
Committee on Standing Rules and Orders [CSRO]. Monday’s interviews
are designed to assist the Committee to compile its list for submission
to the President.
The CSRO also
intends to use the Media Commission short list to select six nominees
for appointment to the Board of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe
[BAZ]. [Section 4 of the Broadcasting
Services Act provides that the President must appoint three
of the twelve members of the Board from a list of six nominees submitted
by the CSRO.] [Note: the advertisement for applicants did not mention
applicants might also be considered for the Broadcasting Authority
Board, so presumably applicants will be asked during their interviews
whether they would be interested in being nominated.]
for Appointment to Media Commission
of the Constitution says that persons appointed to the Commission
“must be chosen for their knowledge of and experience in the
press, print or electronic media or broadcasting”.
The full CSRO
are due to be present, but interviews will be conducted, using structured
questions drafted by Parliament, by a five-member panel of its members:
Obert Gutu [MDC-T]
Khumalo MP [MDC-T]
- Edward Mkhosi
- Mabel Chinomona
Chief Fortune Charumbira.
Some of the
[Note this list
of candidates for interview is not complete]
- Dr Tafataona
Mahoso, former chairman of the now defunct Media and Information
- Chris Mutsvangwa,
Zimbabwe's former ambassador in Beijing
- Vimbai Chivaura,
a university lecturer
- Matthew Takaona,
journalist, Zimbabwe Union of Journalists president for more than
- Chris Mhike,
lawyer and chairman of Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio
- Useni Sibanda,
pastor and head of Christian Alliance
- Roger Stringer,
- Henry Muradzikwa
former editor of Ziana and The Sunday Mail, short-term Director
General of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings
- Miriam Madziwa,
Mapimhidze, journalist with the Herald
Mabaso, media studies lecturer
- Nqobile Nyathi,
media studies lecturer at NUST
- Rino Zhuwarara,
media studies lecturer
- Lawton Hikwa,
media studies lecturer at NUST
Mombeshora, Reserve Bank, Head of Strategic Planning and Special
- Timothy Nyahunzvi,
former Head of Mass Communications Division, Harare Polytechnic
and Functions of the Media Commission
to the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act [AIPPA]
made provision for a Zimbabwe Media Commission and outlined its
functions and powers in detail – but that Commission was not
set up. The Amendment Act abolished MIC [Media and Information Commission]
and there has been no legal entity in MIC’s place.
Amendment No.19 of February this year then made provision for
a Zimbabwe Media Commission and it is this Constitutional Media
Commission that is about to be set up. But Amendment No.19 did not
outline its functions and powers in much detail [e.g. they do not
include registration of mass media services or journalists]; instead
it makes provision for an enabling Act to flesh these out.
is whether, pending an enabling Act, can the new Constitutional
Media Commission operate under the AIPPA provisions. If it cannot
[and legal opinion is divided on this] it would not be able to start
fully functioning immediately [which would mean a delay in granting
registration to new newspapers and other “mass media services”].
Unfortunately, Parliament has left the law in a confused state and
will not be sitting again until September. ”].
interpretation that allows the new Commission to operate under AIPPA
or set up a “transitional” registration mechanism would
respect Article 19.1 of the Global Political Agreement, which requires
“the immediate processing” of all applications for registration.
But this should not be an excuse for a delaying enacting the enabling
legislation for the new Commission, so that its position is legally
clear. [Note: the Government, private media and civil society have
agreed that AIPPA needs to be repealed and replaced with a new Act
dealing with Access to Information only. Government have suggested
another new Act to cover registration for “administrative
purposes” but private media practitioners are pushing for
a move to self regulation through a Voluntary Media Council.]
Three Other Constitutional Commissions
and interviewing of applicants for appointment to the three other
Commissions will proceed in stages after Monday’s interviews,
in the following order: Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Zimbabwe
Anti-Corruption Commission and Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.
In all over 600 applications were received for the four Commissions.
makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take
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