Zimpapers Talk Radio's Impartiality Threatened

Medical practitioner Paul Chimedza, who is ZimPapers board chairman, is a Zanu (PF) front runner in the race to succeed the late Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) legislator and Public Service Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro in the Gutu South constituency while Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono’s advisor, Munyaradzi Kereke, another ZimPapers board member is eyeing Bikita West.

Kereke will battle it out in the Zanu (P)F primaries with former lawmaker and retired army officer, Colonel Claudius Makova. Kereke and Makova are involved in a fierce factional fight for the control of the party in the area.

During a Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe hearing on shortlisted radio stations in Harare on Thursday, the two anchored a fierce bid for ZimPapers to be awarded one of the two free to air commercial radio stations being offered by the BAZ.

Both claimed the station would shun the traditionally biased coverage of news towards President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) as is now synonymous with papers under the stable.

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa)-Zimbabwe director Nhlanhla Ngwenya said two’s political background will further compromise the genuineness of their claims ZimPapers was bringing on to the market, a brand that is different from the stable’s print division.

“This is a reflection of why we are being fed on by the ZimPapers and my fear is the propaganda empire is going to be expanded should they get a licence,” said Ngwenya.