No editorial freedom in Zimbabwe

Published: Monday 15 October 2007

The chief of Zimbabwe's national broadcast body has admitted that there is political interference in editorial policy. "We have been reporting on the basis of deception," said Henry Muradzikwa, appearing before a parliamentary committee on transport and communications.

Zimbabwe Broadcast Holding's (zbh's) boss also told the committee hearing that reporters are told they should report impartially, only to see some of their reports censored. Muradzikwa was responding to a question from a Movement for Democratic Change member of Parliament, Nelson Chamisa, who wanted to know if the head of Zimbabwe's broadcasting body was aware of perceptions that the broadcaster served as the ruling party's propaganda tool.

He also said a much vaunted digitalisation programme backed by Iran had been halted because of unpaid debts. "The Iranian deal has been dormant because they (Iran) are saying we should pay us $3 million. The difficulty is that this was incurred by both zbh and the Agriculture Rural Development Authority. zbh has paid its half."

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