Parliament yesterday adopted Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya’s motion to dissolve the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) board on the grounds it was illegally constituted.
The adoption now awaits implementation by Media, Information and Publicity minister Webster Shamu.
If Shamu complies, commercial radio licences recently awarded to Zimpapers’ Talk Radio and AB Communications would be withdrawn.
The adoption of the motion followed calls by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for an immediate dissolution of the BAZ board in his end-of-year speech in Parliament earlier yesterday.
He said Cabinet had last year agreed to dissolve the BAZ, ZBC and Mass Media Trust boards because they were illegally constituted.
Zanu PF legislator for Mbire, Paul Mazikana, asked Tsvangirai to explain to the House why he was saying the BAZ board was illegally constituted.
In response, the PM said Shamu had defied a Cabinet directive to regularise the BAZ board.
According to a letter in NewsDay’s possession dated June 15, Shamu was ordered by Cabinet to recommend 12 nominees to the BAZ board for consideration by the Global Political Agreement principals in terms of Section 4 of the BAZ Act.
It is those instructions that Shamu allegedly ignored.
Meanwhile, Speaker of the House of Assembly Lovemore Moyo yesterday also denied allegations by Zanu PF MPs that BAZ had been formalised by the Parliamentary Standing Rules and Orders Committee (SROC).
Moyo chairs the SROC.
Uzumba MP Simbaneuta Mudarikwa alleged the Speaker was misleading the House and produced a copy of a letter, which he said was signed by Moyo regularising the BAZ board.
But Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly Nomalanga Khumalo refused to accept the letter saying Mudarikwa had decided to challenge Moyo’s assertion when the mover of the motion was already winding it up.