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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Daily Election Report - Issue 11
    The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
    July 25, 2013

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    ZBC steps up the propaganda

    ZTV’s slavish devotion to promoting Zanu-PF’s election fortunes exceeded even its own massively biased standards in today’s evening news bulletin, dedicating more than 33 minutes of its 40-minute bulletin to favourable coverage of the party’s political campaign activities in nine stories.

    Only a three-minute swipe at the MDC-T’s low turnout rallies in Murehwa and Kotwa, and two other 90-second items about the administrative issues of the 2013 elections, interrupted the propaganda for Zanu-PF in the “news” section ZTV’s bulletin this evening.

    But the need to give the party “that little extra support” in its news bulletin might have arisen due to the fact that – for the first time in the campaign – the so-called national public broadcaster did not give President Mugabe’s rallies in Norton and Zvimba today any live coverage.

    This bulletin, more than any other MMPZ has monitored in the past 10 days, demonstrates beyond a shadow of doubt ZBC’s utter contempt for the country’s Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13] Part XXIB section 160J (a) that calls for the news media to treat all political parties and candidates equitably in regard “to the extent, timing and prominence of the coverage accorded to them” (political parties and candidates).

    In addition, while ZTV’s reports on the rallies of Mugabe and Vice-President Joice Mujuru were contemporary (among the others it revisited in the bulletin), the report on the MDC-T’s rallies was from the previous day (Tuesday). The station simply ignored Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s address to his supporters in Chikomba today.

    SW Radio Africa reported widespread intimidation against MDC-T supporters by Zanu-PF youths at the MDC-T’s Kotwa and Murehwa rallies, which had resulted in poor attendances.

    ZTV quoted Tsvangirai saying, “Presently, in the rural areas, it’s not a surprise…to hear traditional leaders threatening their subjects…should they attend Tsvangirai rallies. To all traditional leaders, know that the sun will rise (and) I shall come back here…as the country’s president and will convene all traditional leaders and ask them where they stand.” But ZTV deliberately distorted this statement when the presenter introduced the news item, saying: “Tsvangirai threatens to deal with traditional leaders if elected”.

    In contrast the local private stations made an effort to give roughly equal coverage of the country’s two main political parties by providing factual reports of their activities in their five reports. However, Studio 7 and SW Radio Africa only reported on the MDC-T’s activities.

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