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media regulatory body gazetted
February 23, 2010
President Robert Mugabe
on 11 February 2010 gazetted the establishment of the long awaited
Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) amid expectations that the Commission
will immediately call for applications for licenses for new and
old players in the print media.
Broadcasting Corporation, broadcaster Godfrey Majonga will chair
the nine-member ZMC and will be deputised by Nqobile Nyathi, a former
editor with the banned newspaper, The Daily News.The other members
are Journalist and Lawyer Chris Mhike, Former Zimbabwean Ambassador
to China Chris Mutsvangwa, Freelance Journalist Miriam Madziwa,
Former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings' Chief Executive Henry Muradzikwa,
Union of Journalist (ZUJ) President Mathew Takaona, Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe Division Head, Millicent Mombeshora and National
University of Science and Technology Lecturer Lawton Hikwa.
National Director Nhlanhla Ngwenya welcomed the gazetting of the
ZMC as "the first step towards comprehensive media reforms".
"We hope the government will complement this development with
the repeal of such laws as the Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Acts (AIPPA), the Broadcasting
Services Acts (BSA), and other obnoxious provisions in other
Acts which hinder media freedoms," said Ngwenya.
ZimInd Chief Executive
Raphael Khumalo said: "Our immediate expectation is that the
commissioners should start working. In fact, they should have already
started working since the gazette states that their appointment
is with effect from 11 February 2010. We expect them to start inviting
applications (for licenses) soon". ZimInd which publishes the
Zimbabwe Independent and Standard weekly newspapers has been waiting
in the wings for the establishment of the ZMC in order to be licensed
and launch its daily newspaper, Newsday.
"It is, however,
still worrying that this commission is a partisan political creation.
It is staffed with political appointees who have narrow political
mandates to defend the interests of their parties than the public
interest," said Dumisani Muleya spokesperson of the Zimbabwe
Journalists for Human Rights.
The statutory ZMC is
the successor body to the state-controlled Media and Information
Commission which is infamous for the closure of The Daily News,
Daily News on Sunday, The Tribune and Weekly Times in terms of the
repressive Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
the MISA-Zimbabwe fact
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