ZBC Asked To Respond To Hate Language Allegations

Information obtained by Radio VOP indicates that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) party has formally lodged a complaint with JOMIC over ZBC’s unprofessionalism.

In a lengthy letter of complaint to JOMIC national director, Patience Chiradza in February this year, the MDC-T charged that the ZBC was constantly subjecting Tsvangirai and its leadership, including Finance Minister Tendai Biti, to public flogging during its news bulletins.

The party said ZBC’s actions were against the spirit of the inclusive government as spelt out by the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed by Tsvangirai, President Robert Mugabe and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara in September, 2008.

It further accused the ZBC of using hate language and showing open biased towards President Mugabe and his party Zanu (PF) despite the three parties in the GPA agreeing on sweeping media reforms, including the reform of the ZBC.

The MDC-T, in its letter of complaint, further charged that the ZBC through its radio and television broadcasts, daily denigrated Prime Minister Tsvangirai.

Information at hand indicates that JOMIC, established under Article XXII of the GPA between Zanu (PF) and the two formations MDC, wrote to the ZBC on 20 July, 2011, demanding that the state broadcaster’s chief executive officer, Happison Muchechetere, respond to the allegations raised by the MDC-T through its secretary general Biti.

The letter to Muchechetere was handed to the ZBC, the same day when JOMIC held a workshop and hosted a luncheon for all editors from both the private and state media.

The MDC-T has also lodged formal complaints with JOMIC over statements attributed to Brigadier-General Douglas Nyikayaramba that President Mugabe must die in office and that soldiers would salute Tsvangirai even if he won the next presidential elections.

JOMIC, which is being accused of being a toothless bull-dog, is composed of 12 senior members with four each drawn from the three partners in the GPA.

Apart from ensuring the implementation of the letter and spirit of the GPA, JOMIC is charged with receiving reports and complaints in respect of any issue related to the implementation, enforcement and execution of the GPA as well as serving as a catalyst in creating and promoting an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding between the three political parties.