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Weekly Media Review 2011- 47
The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
Monday November 21st - Sunday November 27th 2011
December 02, 2011
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subverting broadcasting reforms
Barely a week
after the disputed Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) courted
controversy by awarding the country's first ever free-to-air
independent national commercial radio station licences to two companies
linked to ZANU PF, the authority was making headlines again with
advertisements seeking applications for more, free-to-air local
commercial radio broadcasters.
BAZ, whose members
were unilaterally appointed by the ZANU PF-controlled Ministry of
Information in 2009, flighted adverts in The Sunday Mail (27/11)
inviting applications from potential broadcasters to establish private
local radio stations, one in each of 14 towns and cities around
irregular appointment and clearly partisan allocation of national
broadcasting space, this latest effort by the authority to appear
to be reforming Zimbabwe's restricted broadcasting environment
is sure to re-ignite fierce debate over the unity government's
desire to implement genuine media reform as envisaged under the
It is on record
that, as a result of its irregular appointment, the Principals in
of National Unity have agreed to reconstitute the BAZ governing
board in terms of the Broadcasting
Services Act as amended in
Until this is
achieved, the activities of the group of individuals claiming to
be representing BAZ should be considered to be of no legal force
or effect and should be dismissed as the actions of an illegitimately
society, media watchdogs and two of the three parties in the unity
government have all dismissed BAZ's allocation of national
broadcasting licences to Zimpapers' Talk Radio and AB Communications'
Zi fm stereo, owned by former ZBC newscaster Supa Mandiwanzira,
as exactly that.
of paying attention to the self-evidently necessary legal requirement
for it to be reconstituted, BAZ is pressing ahead with its media
reform window-dressing by seeking applications for local private
It is equally
self-evident that for BAZ to do so it must have the support of the
Ministry of Information and Publicity that supervises its activities.
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