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Minister disregard President and Premier's directive to regularize BAZ board appointment
Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS)
December 16, 2011

The Minister of Media, Information and Publicity, Webster Shamu, disregarded directives from President Robert Mugabe's office and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, to reconstitute and regularise the appointment of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe.

According to the Zimbabwe Independent of 16-22 December 2011, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, wrote to Minister Shamu on June 15 directing him to reconstitute the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe Board (BAZ) board, in line with an agreement reached by the principals in their meeting on May 9.

"You are requested to recommend twelve (12) nominees to the board for consideration by the principals in terms of Section 4 of the BAZ Act. The nominees should be conveyed at my office for onward transmission to the principals', wrote Sibanda in his letter to Minister Shamu .

Earlier on, Minister Shamu ignored a letter from Prime Minister Tsvangirai in November of 2009, which was ordering the Minister to dissolve the current BAZ board.

ZACRAS position

The Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS) calls upon the President of Zimbabwe and the Prime Minister to take corrective measures to ensure the dissolution of the current BAZ board.

It is saddening that since the formation of BAZ, no community radio station has been licensed to broadcast. It is our conviction that the composition of the current BAZ board is a stumbling block towards the true liberalisation of Zimbabwe's airwaves .

Following the awarding of licenses to Zimpapers' Talk radio and AB Communications, it is inevitable for an average Zimbabwean to suspect that BAZ is awarding licenses to their kith and kin. Therefore, having a properly constituted BAZ will allay fears that licenses are being awarded unfairly.

ZACRAS maintains its call for the licensing of community radio stations. It is only when communities have access to information and can freely express themselves can their participation in governance issues be enhanced. Increased community participation will augment communities' social inclusiveness and also promote transparency and accountability.

National independence is empty if nationals remain unfree. The legacy of a nation is in the voices of the people. Do not choke us. Give us community radio licenses!

Visit the ZACRAS fact sheet

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