South African President Jacob Zuma is the mediator of the fragile coalition government formed by Zanu (PF) and the two MDC formations in February last year.
In a telephone interview with Radio VOP on Sunday, MDC-T’s deputy spokesperson Thabita Khumalo said: ”We took the matter to the GPA mediation team in South Africa last week and we are waiting for feed back. We greatly feel it’s another outstanding issue, which we need the mediator to address urgently.”
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has been playing the controversial jingles following a directive from Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu, who is also Zanu (PF) national political Commissar. Both the local radio and television stations have been playing the music by the Mbare Chimurenga Choir, which gives plaudits to President Robert Mugabe and his deputies. Critics have said the propaganda jingles are against the spirit of the GPA, which brought about the inclusive government last February.
The songs dominate radio and television every 30 minutes in praise of Mugabe’s leadership and re-enforcing that he is in power.
MDC-T said it had approached ZBC with its advertisements but were turned down for unspecified reasons.
According to international broadcasting standards, songs are played from a management–approved ‘playlist’ and no more than five times in a 24 hour shift regardless of the song’s popularity. Such decisions to promote or play a particular song repeatedly and the playlist routine may also be taken on the basis of the hit’s performance on recognisable charts.
MDC said the flighting of the jingles was an assault on the inclusive government.
Cabinet recently directed the state broadcaster to stop the jingles but ZBC chief executive officer, Happison Muchechetere, said the songs were being aired based on their popularity.