Government Urged To Urgently Align Media Laws With Zim Constitution

Mutare, November 24, 2013-Zimbabwe Media Commission says the country might get into a constitutional crisis if the government ignores the need to align media laws with the new Constitution.

“We are concerned with the delays by the government to align media laws and access to information laws,” Chris Mhike a commissioner with the Zimbabwe Media Commission told New at a media consultative meeting which was organized by MISA Zimbabwe and ended last Friday in Mutare.

“The non-alignment of these particular statutes would obviously result in the inability of citizens and institutions to fully enjoy their constitutionally enshrined rights.

“If the situation persists we might soon find ourselves in a constitutional crisis whereby the government fails to honour, respect and fulfil the provisions of the Constitution and obviously a constitutional crisis is not desirable for any nation.”

Mhike also emphasised the need for the establishment of a three-tier broadcasting system in the country.

“The constitution is clear on this; that government must implement the three tire broadcasting system by establishing the Public, Commercial and Community broadcasting,” he said.

Although the country has a public broadcaster – the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) – its mandate as a true public broadcaster is however, contested by free media activists who accuse the corporation of partisanship.

At the moment government is receiving applications for local commercial radio licences, but it has not yet called for community radio licences.

Mike said the Commission has written to the Media Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Jonathan Moyo requesting a meeting.

“We want to congratulate the Minister for the engagement he is having with media stakeholders,” he said.

“It is a good, and a commendable gesture and we wish he will continue working in that positive mood. However as ZMC when we meet him we will highlight to him all the concerns which have been raised by the media industry.”