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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Daily Election Report - Issue 8
    The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
    July 22, 2013

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    Zanu-PF continues to enjoy biased coverage on ZTV

    The national public broadcaster, ZBC, continued to disregard its obligation to cover the activities of all political parties and candidates fairly and equitably during elections as stipulated in the Electoral Act, section 160J(a-e).

    All six of ZTV’s reports focused on the Zanu-PF campaigns where party officials, such as President Mugabe, Vice-President Joice Mujuru, Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, and Zanu-PF politburo member Tendai Savanhu, were all allowed 20 minutes of free airtime on the main evening news bulletin to campaign for their party.

    The station carried no reports of other political party activities.

    The domestic private radio station Star FM aired one report where the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association was reported to be holding meetings for aspiring candidates for the harmonised elections to meet residents.

    Studio 7 carried one report on the MDC-T rallies in the Midlands province, where its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, promised to resuscitate Zimbabwe’s collapsed industries.

    The report also announced the MDC-T and Zanu-PF schedule of rallies due to be held around the country.

    Notably, ZTV restricted coverage of the MDC-T rally in Bulawayo and the MDC-N rally in Binga on Saturday to its website, where news of these events were posted yesterday (Sunday).

    But even then, the report of the MDC-T event was highly selective and distorted in order to discredit the party’s leader. The ZTV website report used a comment from Tsvangirai’s White City Stadium speech; that he recognised the critical role of Zimbabwe’s liberation war heroes, to accuse him of hypocrisy since it claimed that he had “boycotted” the funerals of some national heroes, such as the late Major-General Jevan Maseko.

    This report reinforced ZTV’s blatant bias against Zanu-PF’s most serious political rival, the MDC-T, and compounded its policy of depriving the party of any significant airtime on the only television broadcasting station in the country.

    ZTV’s website also carried another negative story claiming that MDC-T supporters in Marondera had defected to Zanu-PF because “it has people oriented programmes”. Although the story accessed comment from some of the alleged defectors, it made no attempt to seek comment from the MDC-T.

    The only MDC-N report on the ZBC website was on the launch of the party’s manifesto, where its leader Welshman Ncube promised to improve the health sector.

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