Minister Shamu A Hindrance to Media Reforms: MDC-T

Party national spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora told Radio VOP Friday the MDC-T on Thursday sent a team to ZBC’s Pockets Hill Studios to engage ZBC Chief Executive Officer Happyson Muchechetere on the matter.

“This was to reason with the ZBC on the very, very skewed coverage that is done in Zimbabwe,” said Mwonzora.

“We were trying to remonstrate with them to be fair and to be responsible. We have noticed that ZBC has been converted into a Zanu PF mouthpiece when in fact it is a national broadcaster.

“We also notice that rarely do they cover the Prime Minister and MDC ministers even if they would be on government business.”

The Nyanga North legislator said the visit to the state broadcaster was also aimed at raising concerns over the hate speech allegedly being churned by Zimbabwe’s sole broadcaster.

“We remonstrated with them to get rid of hate speech. It is still possible to run Zanu PF programmes on television, it is still possible to promote President Mugabe and his Zanu PF without hate speech. We want that eradicated,” said Mwonzora.

The MDC-T spokesperson blamed Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu for stifling media reforms.

“The fault is the people who design the editorial policy especially the Minister of Information. He is not doing this government any good. He was told by the principals to effect reforms in the media and he has not moved an inch. He is the main problem,” said Mwonzora.

ZBC CEO Muchechetere could not be reached for comment although Mwonzora said they received a “diplomatic and nice response” from them.

According to Mwonzora, Muchechetere promised to “improve” adding that they also awaited Shamu’s directive.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai has described ZBC journalists as shallow after they have persistently bashed him through negative coverage.