MISA Zimbabwe is disappointed that ZBC fails to acknowledge its biased coverage anomally as an opportunity for them to address the findings and shortcomings identified by observer missions to the 2018 elections. This comes at a time when a Cabinet taskforce has been set up to look into the findings and recommendations with the view to implementing them. However, the information on the progress in this regard remains scarce.
The issue at hand, which many out there seem to be missing, is not ZBC covering or not covering opposition party activities, but that when it does, its coverage is biased.
It is such denials and intransigency that buttress and justify increasing calls for the transformation of ZBC into a truly independent public broadcaster.
ZBC said by the end of the digitisation programme they would run six additional television channels.
MISA Zimbabwe, however, notes that in its submissions on digitisation, ZBC did not clearly outline how the broadcaster plans to give space to alternative political voices through the six television channels. ZBC is constitutionally mandated to provide fair and balanced coverage to diverse groups in society.
Meanwhile, this means that of the envisaged 24 television channels upon completion of the digitisation process, at least 18 will possibly be licensed to additional players in he broadcasting industry.
MISA Zimbabwe hopes that government will, therefore, not allocate more than six channels to ZBC when it has outlined in its submissions to Parliament that it is not in a position to run six such channels.
MISA Zimbabwe, therefore, urges ZBC to come up with measures that ensure diverse and impartial coverage of different political parties and other dissenting voices, views and opinions.