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Zimbabwe media reforms: Real or sham?. Joburg Radio days 05 July 2012. Conclusion The latest media reforms in Harare are a SHAM designed and implemented as a smokescreen to SADC and media reform activists.

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Zimbabwe media reforms real or sham

Zimbabwe media reforms: Real or sham?

Joburg Radio days

05 July 2012


Zimbabwe media reforms real or sham

  • Conclusion

  • The latest media reforms in Harare are a SHAM

  • designed and implemented as a smokescreen to SADC and media reform activists


Zimbabwe media reforms real or sham

  • The latest reforms betray clear and guiding fundamentals on which the whole campaigns of majority rule, and media freedom derived power.

  • And these are:

  • Inclusivity

  • Diversity and plurality


Zimbabwe media reforms real or sham

  • Challenges

  • Restrictive Laws

  • Before independence in 1980, we had a Broadcasting Act that guaranteed monopoly of the State broadcaster

  • We had an official Secrets Act that criminalized what I call basic journalistic duties like reporting on what happens in parliament.

  • We had a Law and Order Maintenance Act that made sure journalist were denied space to get and report on issues under the guise of “Law and order”

  • #The essence of these laws was to exclude certain sectors of society (the black majority) from accessing and distributing information, leaving them at the mercy of an elite ruling clique that decided on when, How and what to tell.


Zimbabwe media reforms real or sham

  • Any media reform therefore that does not address this anomaly, of a media that plays to the whims and caprices of a few powerful individuals, is a SHAM.

  • We have had other laws under the guise of media reform:

  • Broadcasting services Act (BSA)

  • AIPPA

  • POSA

  • The Global Political Agreement (GPA)

  • The laws normally have beautiful preambles that reassures but are littered with many draw back clauses that eats into the promises of the preambles.

  • #In my book, these repressive media laws constitute 25% of reasons why media reform in Harare was a SHAM.


Zimbabwe media reforms real or sham

  • Paranoid Institutions anomaly, of a media that plays to the whims and caprices of a few powerful individuals, is a SHAM.

  • The Ministry of Media, Information and publicity

  • The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe

  • -their policy is not to talk to people

  • -they have a fixation with CONTROLING, other than facilitating the emergency of an inclusive, diverse and plural media environment

  • -it took them a decade, to licence only two new players

  • -in 11 years of going to work every day, they have never invited Community Radio initiatives to apply for licences.

  • #in my book again, these constitute 25% of reasons why media reforms in Harare are a SHAM


Zimbabwe media reforms real or sham

  • The Human Factor anomaly, of a media that plays to the whims and caprices of a few powerful individuals, is a SHAM.

  • This is the single most dangerous impediment to media reforms. It takes 50% of the blame.

  • This HUMAN FACTOR is represented at different levels by:

  • The Minister of Media, Information and Publicity, Cde Webster Shamu


Zimbabwe media reforms real or sham



Zimbabwe media reforms real or sham

You might have the best laws, constitutions, but as long as the HUMAN FACTOR is not taken care of, where there is impunity and no rule of law, then you will cry till cows come home to roost and have no reform.


Zimbabwe media reforms real or sham

Putting the new licences into perspective: the HUMAN FACTOR is not taken care of, where there is impunity and no rule of law, then you will cry till cows come home to roost and have no reform.

There have been more than 28 new licences in the print industry since 2009, and recently, only two in the broadcasting arena.


Zimbabwe media reforms real or sham

Print media: the HUMAN FACTOR is not taken care of, where there is impunity and no rule of law, then you will cry till cows come home to roost and have no reform.

-Mostly beauty, fashion, soccer and religious magazines.

-2 national daily newspapers that sell at a $1 each

Important step but how many can buy the newspapers in a country with high unemployment rates?

Do the papers take care of the rural constituencies?

Affordability and accessibility hinder against the principle of INCLUSIVITY


Zimbabwe media reforms real or sham

Radio the HUMAN FACTOR is not taken care of, where there is impunity and no rule of law, then you will cry till cows come home to roost and have no reform.

Whereas this guarantees a wider audience than print media, do the current licencees guarantee diversity?

We have to ask who are these new players are to answer this question.


Zimbabwe media reforms real or sham

Zimpapers Talk Radio station the HUMAN FACTOR is not taken care of, where there is impunity and no rule of law, then you will cry till cows come home to roost and have no reform.

This is a new division of the old Zimpapers that has always told one side of the Zimbabwean story.

Expecting the radio to differ from the Zimpapers print products, to provide the much needed diversity and inclusivity, is like expecting to extract milk from a soccer ball


Zimbabwe media reforms real or sham

AB Communications ZI FM the HUMAN FACTOR is not taken care of, where there is impunity and no rule of law, then you will cry till cows come home to roost and have no reform.

Not much is known about the station so far, but a lot is known about their public face, Supa Mandiwanzira.

At his best, he is our answer to SABC’s Vuyo of morning live, if not way better



Zimbabwe media reforms real or sham

A Zanu PF apologist, and a strong contender for the Zanu PF Nyanga South House of Assembly parliamentary seat. (Assuming the licence carrot dangled won’t help him change his mind)


Zimbabwe media reforms real or sham

From past performance and associations, does he offer hope for

diversity and inclusivity?

Certainly NOT.


Zimbabwe media reforms real or sham

Where does this leave Zimbabwe? for

In a worse state than was before GPA and these two licences.

Whereas in the past, we used to battle with a clearly partisan and nauseating public broadcaster with 6 outlets (4 radio and 2 tv) we are most likely to end up with the old partisan public broadcaster and two new pseudo-party mouthpieces that will really drown any other diverse view in the country

Most likely the stations will try to outdo each other in the service of a political party and a ruling minority to the detriment of INCLUSIVITY and DIVERSITY