Misa takes ZBC, Zec to task over polls coverage

Tabani Moyo


MEDIA Institute of Southern Africa (Misa-Zimbabwe) has written to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) demanding the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC)’s schedule of how it would cover all political parties ahead of the March 26 by-elections.

This came after ZBC on January 31 wrote to Misa-Zimbabwe stating that it had sent its election coverage schedule to Zec.

The ZBC claimed that the letter was copied to Information ministry permanent secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana, Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission chairperson Elasto Mugwadi, Sadc executive secretary Elias Mpdei Magosi and African Union chairperson Moussa Mahamat.

In a letter to Zec dated February 9, Misa-Zimbabwe director Tabani Moyo requested the ZBC schedule on elections coverage in line with the Electoral Act.

Section 160 of the Act mandates Zec to provide fair coverage to all political parties.

“We are, therefore, kindly requesting your commission to furnish us with us with progress pertaining to the submission of this schedule or the steps that ZBC is taking to towards the submission of this schedule or the steps that ZBC is taking towards the timely submission of the same in the interest of transparency and public accountability in terms of the Freedom of Information Act,” Moyo wrote.

He added: “The schedule is necessary to ensure effective monitoring of the media coverage during elections and to measure if the media is complying with the law and international standards. We believe Zec will also be relying on these schedules as a benchmark or standard to ensure that media houses are complying with the law.”

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