#ElectionsZW: ‘’We are not desperate for ZBC coverage” says ZAPU
Opposition party ZAPU has charged that it will not make any efforts to engage ZBC the sole public broadcaster for coverage ahead of the by-elections.
ZAPU spokesperson Msongelwa Ndlovu said ZBC only provided coverage for the opposition when it served the interests of Zanu PF.
“The truth of the matter is that we have not received any coverage whatsoever from ZBC, we are not surprised. The only time they will cover you is when the coverage benefits Zanu PF.
“So we are not desperate for them to cover us at all although we know that they run through funding from ordinary citizens,” said Ndlovu.
In January, Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe wrote to ZBC reminding the public broadcaster that “Section 160 of the Electoral Act requires a public broadcaster to afford all political parties contesting elections free access to its broadcasting services.”
This comes after a SADC report on the 2018 elections reported that broadcasting and print state media had been biased in favour of Zanu PF, contrary to the legal provisions of the Constitution. The report recommended that state media should meet its constitutional mandate in future.
Ndlovu said that ZAPU was now concentrating its by-election campaign efforts on social and private media rather than lobby ZBC for coverage when it has an unconstitutional habitual tendency of favouring Zanu PF during elections.
‘’We will not beg them (ZBC) to cover us. We are very glad about the coverage that we are getting from private media, and we have made inroads with regards to social media.
“So we have means through which we can engage general citizenry and the potential voters. ZAPU’s position is a departure from past outcry by opposition parties on the eve of elections bemoaning the need for electoral reforms.