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Minister rapped over ZBC bias


DEPUTY Information minister Thokozile Mathuthu was last Thursday grilled by senators over the State media’s alleged bias towards the ruling Zanu PF party and blackout of opposition party activities.


Manicaland senator David Chimhini (MDC-T) asked Mathuthu to explain why the Zimbabwe Boradcasting Corporation religiously covered Zanu PF events, while boycotting events organised by opposition parties.


But Mathuthu said if other parties wished to be covered by the ZBC, they should flight adverts.

“Anyone who wants to flight an advertisement or wants to share information with the public is allowed to do so as a policy,” Mathuthu said.

“They just need to raise funds to pay for that advertisement.”

A week ago Zanu PF held its 15th national conference in Victoria Falls and it was broadcast live on national TV.

First Lady Grace Mugabe’s ‘Meet the People’ rallies carried out in most parts of the country ahead of the conference also received wide coverage from the State media.

Chimhini then asked Mathuthu to explain if the Zanu PF rallies that were broadcast live were paid for.

“We are talking of political party activities – are those that appear on television paid for?” Chimhini shot back.

Mathuthu alleged the reasons why some opposition parties’ events were not being covered live by the State broadcaster was because of hostility towards their (ZBC) reporters.

“What I am aware of is that some political parties chase away the media when they want to cover their activities. I have no doubt that if the reporters were allowed to cover all activities, space will be provided for those activities to be broadcast on television,” Mathuthu said.

Opposition political parties have often complained about lack of coverage by State media, especially during elections.

Recently, the National Constitutional Assembly party led by Lovemore Madhuku wrote to ZBC registering concern over what they called ‘biased broadcasting, unprofessional coverage and abuse of the national broadcaster’ to further the interests of Zanu PF.

“We are most concerned about the uncensored coverage of the First Lady Grace Mugabe’s rallies. Despite that these rallies are dominated by hate speech, we continuously wonder the relevance of ZBC coverage of such insignificant and divisive political gatherings,” the NCA wrote.

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