The Herald has reported that the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) is set to withdraw a Clause in the law which requires an applicant of a radio or television licence to disclose political affiliation.
The clause was reportedly approved when exiled former Cabinet Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo was still the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services.
The report comes when BAZ recently issued licences to 6 television stations and 29 radio stations. The clause, for some, affected the objectivity or impartiality of the media which is considered an essential instrument towards attainment or killing of democracy in any society.
The development also comes when Zimbabwe has embarked on the implementation of the much-needed media reforms.
Opposition parties, particularly the MDC led by Nelson Chamisa has been blaming state-controlled media, ZBC, of being biased towards the ruling ZANU PF.
Also, most of the ‘independent’ or ‘private-owned’ radio stations in the country are reportedly owned by individuals with strong ties with the ruling ZANU PF. For instance, ZiFM which is owned by ZANU PF legislator for Nyanga South Supa Mandiwanzira.
Media reforms were also recommended by 2018 election observers who said that opposition parties had limited airplay or media coverage making the playing field uneven.
More: The Herald