Home » Governance » Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) Should Immediately Be Disbanded [press release]

Section 61 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for freedom of expression and freedom of the media. Indeed, these two forms of freedom are an integral component of fundamental human rights as clearly enshrined in Chapter 4 of the Constitution that establishes the declaration of rights.

On numerous occasions, the Zanu PF regime has purported to be a democratic government that respects and upholds fundamental human rights and freedoms. However, the contrary is true. The Zanu PF regime remains locked in a fascist and totalitarian mode in which any voice that is perceived to be anti-establishment will be routinely suppressed and undermined. Dictatorial regimes the world over are notorious for thwarting freedom of expression as well as freedom of the media.

The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) is a statutory body that the Zanu PF regime has packed with regime apologists and die-hard Zanu PF functionaries such as one Tafataona Mahoso the BAZ chairperson. In the digital age that we are living in, it is a shameful anachronism to have the BAZ being chaired by someone of the calibre of Mahoso, a complete and unrepentant Zanu PF sycophant who will do everything within his power to thwart and suppress freedom of expression and freedom of the media.

The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) recently announced that five companies with very g links to the Zanu PF regime have been awarded licences to operate commercial radio stations in eight selected urban centres.

The MDC takes note of the fact that both ZiFM and Star FM are gly linked to the Zanu PF regime. Infact, these two national radio stations are a de facto extention of the Zanu PF propaganda machinery.

It is, therefore, totally unacceptable to have AB Communications , a rather shady company with some links to the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), being awarded two licences to run commercial radio stations in Masvingo and Mutare. Similarly, Zimpapers, the owners of the perennially loss-making Star FM, were also awarded licences to operate two commercial radio stations. We hold absolutely no brief for the Trevor Ncube-owned Alpha Media Holdings that had also applied for licences to operate commercial radio stations. However, we are bamboozled by the decision by the BAZ to refuse to grant a licence to Alpha Media Holdings. Surely, something is fundamentally wrong somewhere, somehow.

Whilst all other countries within the SADC region and indeed, in the whole of Africa, are opening up their airwaves and actively promoting and upholding freedom of expression and freedom of the media, Zimbabwe has lagged behind as the country remains an outpost of tyranny, oppression and intolerance. Little wonder, therefore, that Zimbabwe is dismally failing to attract any meaningful foreign direct investment (FDI).

The Zanu PF regime should be gly reminded that it is Zimbabwe that needs the world rather than the world that needs Zimbabwe.Our economy shall remain in a comatose state for as long as the likes of Tafataona Mahoso are still occupying seats on the BAZ board.This man is a threat to media freedom. Mahoso is yesterday’s man. He doesn’t belong to the modern era of digital communication.

The MDC shall continue to unreservedly condemn the Stalinist tendencies of the beleaguered Zanu PF regime. The majority of the people of Zimbabwe are living in squalor and destitution as a direct result of the ruinous economic policies that are being pursued by the faction-ridden and collapsing Zanu PF party. Corruption is now endemic in the country because the Zanu PF regime is comfortable dealing with clueless and misguided media assassins in the mould of one Tafataona Mahoso. For the sake of genuinely opening up media space in Zimbabwe,the BAZ board should step down as a matter of urgency.

MDC: EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL

Obert Chaurura Gutu

National Spokesperson

Source : Movement for Democratic Change

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