GPA parties agree on media reforms

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Negotiators of the parties to Zimbabwe’s inclusive government have agreed on a wide range of media reforms, which will see the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) board being dissolved and a new one being appointed among other things.

According to the election roadmap, a new board should also be appointed for the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) while new broadcasters should be licensed as part of efforts to ensure a free and fair election. ZBC has been accused of bias towards Zanu PF.

Most of the people in the board reportedly have strong links with Zanu PF and the appointment of a new board is meant to ensure some balance.

The BAZ board has failed to ensure that new broadcasters are licensed.

The ZBH board is composed of Cuthbert Dube (chair), Doreen Sibanda (deputy chair), Retired Brigadier-General Benjamin Mabenge, Job Jonhera, Brigadier-General Felix Muchemwa, Advocate Farai Mutamangira, Christopher Pasipamire, Bob Nyabinde, Retired Major-General Gibson Mashingaidze, Clement Mabaso and Bishop Trevor Manhanga.

The BAZ board consists of Dr Tafataona Mahoso (chair), Dr Primrose Kurasha (deputy chair), Edward Dube, Retired Colonel Reuben Mqwayi, Charity Moyo, Retired Brigadier-General Elasto Madzingira, Erica Mususa, Reverend J D Mutuvira, Chief Gambiza, Susan Makore, Dr Vimbai Chivaura and Geoffrey Chada.

The negotiators also agreed “to direct the State media to support all agreed government programmes and to put a stop to attacks against ministers implementing such programmes”.

As part of the media reforms to be carried out before elections are held, the negotiators agreed on the need to appoint new trustees for the Mass Media Trust and establish the Media Council of Zimbabwe.