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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Daily Election Report - Issue 10
    The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
    July 24, 2013

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    ZiFM delays reports of Zanu-PF’s rivals

    ZBC continued to give extensive coverage to Zanu-PF rallies held at Aerodrome grounds in Mutare and Hatfield constituency in Harare. As has become the norm, the “star” rally held in Mutare was again accorded uninterrupted live coverage on both the public broadcaster’s radio and television channels.

    Five of the seven party campaign stories on ZTV promoted Zanu-PF officials, including President Mugabe, First lady Grace Mugabe, Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo.

    MDC-T on the other hand was accorded much less time and less favour. The MDC-N’s Binga rally was given just two minutes just enough time to quote its deputy president, Edwin Mushoriwa saying of his political rival, “Tsvangirai believes in corruption and violence, together with his party”.

    Only Spot FM’s report on the MDC-T rallies in Mashonaland East reported Tsvangirai taking a swipe at traditional leaders, whom he accused of intimidating his supporters, saying he would “deal with them.”

    ZTV’s report on the MDC-T highlighted how Tsvangirai had failed to convince two of his party’s candidates to withdraw to allow the MDC-T’s alliance partners, MKD and Zanu Ndonga candidates a better chance of winning in the two constituencies where they are standing.

    ZiFM carried news of one MDC-T rally held in Gweru over the weekend and another on the MDC-N’s Lower Gweru rally on Monday. Both these rallies were only reported days after taking place and raises questions about whether ZiFM’s owner, Supa Mandiwanzira, who happened to have been the master of ceremonies at Mugabe’s rally in Mutare, deliberately delayed these reports. ZiFM joins ZBC in giving other political parties questionable coverage of their election campaigns compared to its coverage of Zanu-PF.

    Star FM and ZiFM both carried reports of the Zanu-PF Mutare rally, while SW Radio Africa and Studio 7 did not. Instead, they followed up reports on Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo’s directive to all councils to write off all debts incurred by residents between February 2009 and June 2013.

    The private media dismissed this as a vote-buying gimmick, whilst the same report received uncritical cheers from the state media.

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