The government has approved the Broadcasting Services Amendment Bill, a new law meant to harmonise the Broadcasting Services Act with the constitution.
The Bill, if passed by Parliament, will end the alleged abuse of state media by the ruling ZANU PF party.
The proposed Bill also seeks to establish the Broadcasting and Communication Authority through the merging of Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) and Postal Telecommunication Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ).
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Speaking about the Bill during a routine post-cabinet media briefing in Harare on Tuesday, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said that it will ensure:
That every person has the right to freedom of expression and freedom of media; that freedom of expression and freedom of the media excludes incitement to violence, excludes advocates of hatred or hate speech, malicious injury to a person’s reputation or dignity, malicious or unwarranted breach of person right to privacy.
It also talks about the freedom of establishing other electronic media of communications [sic] subject only to state licensing procedures.
That all State-owned media of communication must be impartial and free to determine independently the editorial content of their broadcast.
State media has since time immemorial, been under fire from opposition political parties and members of the public who do not subscribe to the ruling party’s ideology for biased reporting in favour of ZANU PF.