Opposition ZAPU says it is not desperate for coverage by the country’s sole public broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), ahead of the by-elections scheduled for 26 March.
ZAPU spokesperson Msongelwa Ndlovu told OpenParly that ZBC only provided coverage for the opposition when it served the interests of the ruling ZANU PF. Said Ndlovu:
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.
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 regard to social media.
So we have means through which we can engage the 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.
On 21 January, the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA Zimbabwe) wrote to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) asking the broadcaster to be neutral and grant equal access for political parties as directed by the High Court and recommended by election observer missions.
MISA said that ZBC had not complied with the court ruling and the ruling ZANU PF party’s rivals could be denied coverage in forthcoming elections.