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MISA Urges ZBC To Provide Equal Coverage Ahead Of By-elections

The Zimbabwe chapter of the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA Zimbabwe) has written to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) asking the broadcaster to be neutral and grant equal access for political parties as directed by the High Court and recommended by election observer missions.

In a letter dated 21 January 2022, MISA Zimbabwe director Tabani Moyo reminded ZBC of its obligations under the national constitution. Said Moyo:

Section 160 of the Electoral Act requires a public broadcaster to afford all political parties contesting elections such free access to its broadcasting services as may be prescribed.

It is in that regard that the High Court of Zimbabwe and several election observer missions came up with several recommendations on how the public media, ZBC and Zimpapers, should cover the country’s elections following the conclusion of Zimbabwe’s 2018 harmonised elections.

In June 2019, Justice Joseph Mafusire said ZBC and Zimpapers had violated the constitution with their partisan reporting. He ordered ZBC and Zimpapers:

… to ensure their communications do not show bias in favour of one political party or its candidates and that they exercise impartiality and independence in their duties.

MISA Zimbabwe said that ZBC has not complied with the court ruling and the ruling ZANU PF party’s rivals could be denied coverage in forthcoming elections.

More: ZimLive

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