ZBC lauded for by-election coverage

By Lisa Masuku

THE Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation has received rare reviews for its coverage of the March 26 by-election with media monitors impressed by the issue of diversity.

The media monitoring report released in Bulawayo this Wednesday noted that ZBC strived for diversity in its coverage of political parties during the March 26 elections.

“During our monitoring we did note that ZBC did provide diversity in terms of parties that were covered in the election. We saw 13 political parties out of the 17 which were contesting being covered. It is unfortunate that there are still some gaps where we have three or four political parties getting the lion’s share of the coverage,” said Patience Zirima, Media Monitors Director.

In his submission, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr Nick Mangwana noted the remarkable strides that government has made in implementing the recommendations of Election Observer Missions after the 2018 elections.

Of particular importance is the liberalisation of the electronic media space after more television and community radio stations were licensed.

“Most of you have walked with us this journey from 2018. Between 2018 and today we issued 14 community licences. We proceeded to issue campus radio licences,” said Mr Mangwana.

Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)-Zimbabwe National Director, Tabani Moyo commended the government for ratifying the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, describing it as demonstration of promoting principles of democracy.

“Permanent Secretary, through your office, kindly convey our sincere gratitude and hearty congratulations to the government on its ratification of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. This is a key demonstration of the government’s commitment to free fair and credible elections of which the media plays a vital role,” said Moyo.

Zimbabwe held by-elections last month, with ZBC giving equitable coverage to all contesting political parties and candidates.