Vox Media Declines Invitation by Parliament

“Our case is still with the courts,” Vox Media CEO, John Masuku told a press briefing in Harare on Friday.

“We are not going to deal with the issues that are being dealt with by the courts which is why we did not attend the portfolio committee yesterday (Thursday) because some of the questions they intended to raise were about our thoughts, issues that we thought were going to be sub-judice .”

VOP FM, the owners of Radio VOP, was the only company among the four prospective broadcasters that presented bids for national commercial licences last year that did not attend Thursday’s hearings by Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Media, Information, Communication and Technology.

Those that attended are successful bidders ZimPapers Talk Radio, Zi FM and Kiss FM, which was also denied the licence.

Following the licence denial by the Dr Tafataona Mahoso chaired Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ), Vox Media went to the Administrative Court seeking to interdict its competitors from going on air before the court could consider its challenge.

The Administrative Court found this not an urgent case as was sought and further dismissed the application saying they had wrongfully cited one of the respondents.

The matter is now before the Appeal Court where Vox Media is demanding a record of proceedings of what transpired during the BAZ adjudication process that saw the licencing of its competitors.

Speaking during the press briefing, Tafadzwa Mugabe, the media company’s board member in charge of legal issues, said they were dismayed by BAZ’s continued failure to furnish the Administrative Court with a complete record of proceedings.

“The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe is refusing to provide us with details of the complete recordings and yet for the court to make a decision they must have complete record of proceedings,” he said.

“During the hearing stage BAZ was recording what was taking place. As far as we are concerned, all the documents should be at the Administrative Court. Because we would like to know how other companies scored.

“We do not know how the contenders did and we are not doing this because we did not win a licence but because we would like the law to be followed.”