Zimbabwe is scheduled to hold an election next year but analysts are saying the playing field is not yet level for the main political parties that could contest because the voter’s role is currently in “shambles” and ZEC is “incapacitated”.
“The ZEC must enforce advertising ethics – Code of Conduct – for the political parties and the public broadcaster (content and structure of adverts and political messages),” read a statement by the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN) made available to Radio VOP.
“The ZEC must give voters information and updates using the public media on time. The ZEC must also have an independent agency to monitor and regulate adverts, party jingles and music, and politically insensitive music.”
This has been a very sensitive subject because Zanu (PF) is already running adverts on ZBC TV showing President Robert Mugabe, Deputy Presidents, John Nkomo and Joyce Mujuru, playing soccer as a “Team”.
Zanu (PF) music is played while the “Team” adverts are broadcast almost daily in Zimbabwe on ZBC TV which is the only national television station.
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has already refused to remove the Zanu (PF) jingles saying they are not political.
It has, however, refused to broadcast jingles belonging to Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T.
ZESN said the monitoring of adverts and jingles was among several conditions that needed to be fulfilled for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe next year.
“This is promoting democratic elections in Zimbabwe,” ZESN said in the statement. “These are some of the minimum conditions for free and fair elections.”