HomeLocal NewsZBC defies govt, plays jingles

ZBC defies govt, plays jingles

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The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has continued to play and beam jingles that promote President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF on its radio and television channels after they were ordered to stop them.
Last week government sources and workers at ZBC said they had been told the jingles should be removed from radio and television.
Secretary for Information, Media and Publicity and Presidential spokesperson George Charamba was quoted in the state media saying the matter had been discussed in Cabinet but nothing had been communicated to his ministry as yet.
Jonathan Moyo, a Zanu PF central committee member and former Information minister appeared on television on Thursday saying no one was justified to have the jingles stopped from being played.
ZBC’s chief executive officer Happison Muchechetere has also defended the jingles saying they portrayed the country’s history.
Government sources however insisted President Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had agreed to take them off air on the grounds they undermined the spirit of the inclusive government.
Insiders at Pockets Hill last Tuesday confirmed receiving the directive. That Tuesday night ZBC temporarily took the jingles off the air. But they resurfaced the following day.
“I’m surprised,” said one government official. “We agreed that they should be stopped.”
“This is yet another violation of the GPA,” said another official. “We are now accustomed to this behaviour. We agree on one thing and the next thing what we would have agreed on is not respected.”
The jingles had been stopped after PM Tsvangirai protested to President Mugabe saying the political advertisements were offensive and unwarrantedly spiteful.
The songs, performed by Mbare Chimurenga Choir, urged the Zanu PF presidium not to relinquish power and proclaimed President Mugabe as the absolute ruler.
Part of the lyrics say:
“MuZimbabwe tauya kusimudzira nyika yatakatora nehusiku. (In Zimbabwe we have come to develop the country that we took by night).
“Toitasei? (What do we do?) Kubatana pamwechete (Let us unite). Zanu PF takabatana (In Zanu PF we are united). Toziva vaMugabe varikutonga (We know President Mugabe is ruling).” The premier argued that the jingles embodied messages that undermined the letter and spirit of the inclusive government. The sources said President Mugabe did not object, a surprise response that cleared the way for the ban to take immediate effect.

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