Zimbabwe must reform its public media and provide coverage of the news according to the Constitution to ensure free and fair elections this year, analysts have warned.
Zimbabwe will hold general elections in July and AUgust 2019, but media reports claim there is an overwhelming bias in the State-owned media towards the ruling Zanu-PF compared to all opposition parties.
The Zimbabwe Mail cited the country’s media and civil rights watchdogs as having alleged that both Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) and Zimbabwe Newspapers group fell short of standards, which may be an obstacle to holding free and fair polls.
Patience Zirima, director of Media Monitors in Harara told Zimbabwe Mail that their research indicates that ZBC and Zimpapers group have not provided fair opportunity for the representation of political voics and neither have they been impartial.
Zimbabwe’s veteran media analyst Andrew Moyse has also described Zimbabwe’s public media as “dreadful, amateurish and worst of all, partisan”.
Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Nelson Chamisa reportedly said the trend contradicts Zimbabwe’s need for media diversity as enshrined in the country’s Constitution.
State media are widely biased towards incumbents in many African countries.