Zimbabwe set for Media revolution

2009-12-16 13:24

CHANGE is on the horizon to Zimbabwe’s media landscape as the

much-awaited Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) is finally set to be established

next week – immediately after the announcement of incumbents by the principals

to the Global Political Agreement (GPA), an official has said.

James Maridadi, spokesperson for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai

has told City Press that other independent commissions such as the Zimbabwe

Electoral Commission and the Human Rights Commission were also coming in the

same week.

The announcements, he said, would be made as soon as President Robert

Mugabe returned from Denmark where he was attending a summit on world

climate.

Maridadi said the three principals, Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Arthur

Mutambara would meet next Monday and were likely to hold a joint press

conference, soon after the meeting.

Besides the announcement of the commissions, he said, the

principals would also advise the nation on what progress had been achieved in

the GPA negotiations.

“Even though there has not yet been agreement on the major

contentious issues of the GPA, Zimbabweans may receive a good Christmas present

in the form of the much-needed media reforms and of course, the achievement

realised on the electoral and human rights platform,” Maridadi said.

The establishment of the ZMC will be received with great joy by

Zimbabweans who have had to endure monopolised propaganda from state media.

Government owns the only broadcasting station in Zimbabwe and runs the country’s

only two daily papers.

Already, three prospective daily newspapers are waiting in the

wings to go on the streets as soon as the ZMC is put in place.

Chief Secretary to the president and cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda

confirmed the imminent announcement of the independent commissions.

He said in a statement this week that the principals had agreed on

most of the names of commissioners recommended by the Parliamentary Standing

Rules and Orders Committee (SROS).

“An announcement of the appointments will be made shortly,” Sibanda

said.

There, however, has been little or no movement on some of the key

areas of conflict. Mugabe and Tsvangirai remain worlds apart with regards the

issues of the appointment of Johannes Tomana, Gideon Gono, Roy Bennett and

security reforms.

Our source said Mugabe curiously appeared confident that a solution

could be found without declaring a deadlock.

“We do not know what Mugabe plans to do with the extra time he is

asking for. But Mugabe is a cunning political animal who is capable of springing

surprises. Who knows, he might even convince Tsvangirai when they meet next

Monday,” our source said.


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