The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has shot down Zanu-PF’s plans to establish television or radio stations. This follows reports that Zanu-PF’s information department had recommended the establishment of radio and television stations for the party.
BAZ chief executive Mr Obert Muganyura said that political parties are prohibited under Section 8 and 20 of the Broadcasting Services Act to own broadcasting licenses. He however said that they are guaranteed equal access to available service providers. Said Muganyura:
The BAZ would like to advise all political parties that the broadcasting law of Zimbabwe does not allow any political party to be the provider of any radio or television broadcasting service. This prohibition is in terms of Section 8 of the Broadcasting Services Act which provides for persons disqualified to be licensed, and Section 20 of the same Act under limitation of control of licences.
Political parties, therefore, need not consider establishing their own radio or television stations as such stations cannot be granted the authority to operate in terms of the law.
What political parties can be guaranteed of, as provided by law, is access to broadcasting services during an election period, in accordance with the regulations promulgated by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission which regulate the media during that period.
The Herald reports that MDC-T vice president and Kuwadzana MP in Parliament last week inquired on the procedure for broadcasting licences for political parties.