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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Daily Election Report – Issue 01
The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
July 15, 2013
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bias continues to contaminate its bulletins
media carried 13 reports
on the campaign activities of Zimbabwe’s two main ruling
parties, MDC-T and Zanu-PF, and the opposition Zapu.
Of these, eight (62%) appeared on the national broadcaster, ZBC
[ZTV (five) and Spot FM (three)]. The remaining five were broadcast
by private radio stations.
Four of the eight reports that appeared on ZBC were on the MDC-T.
Three covered the campaigns of Zanu-PF, while the remaining one
focused on Zapu.
The report on Zapu was about the launch of its campaign manifesto
in Harare (ZTV, 14/7, 8pm). It was balanced.
The report largely provided details about Zapu’s manifesto,
which was “premised on the need to bring accountability, fight
corruption and the full implementation of the concept of devolution”.
It reported Dabengwa dismissing concerns that his party’s
alliance with the MDC-N was tribal and regional: “Those allegations
have absolutely got no bearing at all”.
Three of the four stories on the MDC-T were blatantly negative.
These portrayed the party mostly as “corrupt and inefficient”
at local government level and exhibiting “dictatorial tendencies”,
citing, among others, the suspension of some of the party’s
aspiring candidates such as Felix Mafa and Aaron Chinhara (ZTV,
The remaining one was also negative because it narrowly focused
on Tsvangirai’s call to MDC-T members “to desist from
all forms of hate speech and (threats of) violence”, while
addressing thousands of party supporters at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare.
It ignored the main thrust of his speech about promising to create
jobs and resuscitating the
to his party’s members was ZTV’s only focus, suggesting
the party had violent tendencies. The Prime Minister was reacting
to comments by MDC-T youth leaders, Solomon Madzore and Promise
Mkwananzi, who had been reported making inflammatory statements
at different rallies in the same week.
ZTV used a clip of Madzore
speaking at Marondera and another of Douglas Mwonzora saying that
his comments were taken out of context and then presented Tsvangirai’s
Sakubva comments as contradicting this opinion. This report was
given two minutes in the bulletin, while the report on Mugabe’s
rally received five minutes. In contrast to Mugabe’s rally
in Marange, ZTV never gave viewers an accurate impression of the
size of the attendance at Sakubva, keeping a relatively close focus
on Tsvangirai, whereas ZTV’s footage of Mugabe’s rally
repeatedly panned across the entire expanse of his cheering supporters.
All three stories on
Zanu-PF portrayed the party positively.
Zanu-PF was reported
as heading for a “landslide victory” on the strength
of its alleged popularity and sound policies such as the black economic
empowerment programme and its “principled” stand against
Western imperialism (ZTV, 14/7, 8pm). MDC-N was tribal and regional:
“Those allegations have absolutely got no bearing at all”.
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