Govt Orders ZBC To Respond To CCC Allegations Of Bias
Ndavaningi Mangwana, the permanent secretary for the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, has responded to a statement issued by CCC on Tuesday, 25 July alleging State media bias in covering political events.
Mahere said that “it is a matter of public record that ZBC refuses to give any independent or fair coverage to the CCC” leader Nelson Chamisa.
She was responding to claims by the Deputy Information Minister, Kindness Paradza, that the opposition is “refusing to take up airtime on ZBC.”
Posting on Twitter, Mangwana said the Government has directed ZBC formally respond to the CCC public statement so that issue is resolved amicably. Said Mangwana:
The Public Broadcaster is independent of Govt and has its own board, management and editorial team as well as policy.
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We support them with policy directions, resource advocacy, and parliamentary accountability. We have since asked them to formally respond to the CCC public statement so as to correct any misunderstandings which may have arisen between the parties.
The ZBC have assured us that they will issue a statement in the spirit of public institution accountability.
The position of Govt is that;
-the Public Broadcaster is there to serve all. This includes all political parties, all natural or juristic persons.
From our preliminary inquiry, we have been made to understand that, there are challenges with bringing CCC people on air as they either don’t want to come to programs or they have internal contradictions which give them a challenge in deciding who should moderate or appear on a program and how the program should be structured.
This sometimes leads to indecisions on who should attend a program on their behalf and the embargoing of others from attending.
The Public Broadcaster tries to avoid getting involved in these internal contradictions which sometimes lead to the party not being represented at all in spite of ZBC’s efforts at having equitable representation of all players.
When it comes to the airing of CCC adverts, the ZBC reports that CCC leadership has an “unrealistic” expectation that ZBC should do the commercial productions for them.
This is a misunderstanding of the public broadcaster’s role. The CCC party needs to have its own creatives to do its productions just like Zanu PF.
The ZBC is a broadcaster and not an advertising agency and would appreciate completed productions and of course commensurate payment for the purchased airtime.
May we take this opportunity to point out that Zanu PF pays for all the rallies that are aired live on television.
Govt itself pays for the National Heroes Galas that also benefit from live broadcasts.
We call upon everyone to support our National institutions in their commercial efforts to avoid turning into fiscal burdens to the taxpayer.
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