Makoni demands state media access
HARARE – Opposition leader Simba Makoni has demanded equal access to the media for political parties as the nation hurtles towards harmonised elections.
The Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) leader said Zanu PF was enjoying unfair advantage in broadcast media and has not taken heed of the calls from other parties to give fair coverage to other political contestants.
Speaking recently in Bulawayo, Makoni said Media, Information and Publicity minister Webster Shamu had no right to deny other parties coverage on Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).
He said the inclusive government had failed to push the media reform agenda, but said with political will, changes can be made before Zimbabwe goes to the polls.
“Opening up ZBC to Morgan Tsvangirai, Simba Makoni and Dumiso Dabengwa do not require a new law, but requires Webster Shamu to instruct Happison Muchechetere that he should not bar other people from the air,” Makoni said.
Makoni was optimistic that if more pressure is exerted on Shamu, other political parties will be given coverage.
“If we, the people demand that Webster Shamu take the actions that guarantee us free and fair elections, he can never ignore the call of the people. And if all of us begin echoing the same message to President Robert Mugabe and Muchechetere, they will take heed,” Makoni said.
ZBC chief executive officer Muchechetere blamed political parties which he said did not submit their itineraries to the station for it to diarise their events.
Muchechetere said political parties are free to flight adverts on ZBC or buy airtime.
Last week, leader of the smaller MDC Welshman Ncube demanded that media reforms in broadcast media be enacted before the watershed elections, saying they were a key factor for a free and fair election. – Mugove Tafirenyika