State Media “Biased” and “Partisan” During Election Period, Says European Union Observers and African Union Observers

Alvine Chaparadza Avatar
ZBC Van, CEO, TV Zimbabwe, Digitisation, Digital TV 12 new TV stations, ZESA

We have written about the critical role media plays in influencing opinion in elections. Now one of the most important observers of the ongoing elections, European Union Election Observer Mission (EUEOM) has cited the failure by state media to provide equal treatment to all political parties. EUROM said;

Based on EU EOM monitoring, the state broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, failed to abide by its legal obligation to ensure equitable and fair treatment to all political parties and candidates. State-owned TV, radio and newspapers, which dominate the media landscape, were heavily biased in favour of the ruling party and incumbent president in their election-related coverage. Media operated in a generally free environment during the campaign and freedom of expression was respected. The legal framework for media, while providing for fundamental rights, needs further improvement to bring it into line with the Constitution.

EUEOM’s statement tallies with African Union Election Observer Mission (AUEOM), which also noted the bias of the state media. AUEOM said;

…in light of the partisan and polarised nature of the media in Zimbabwe, consider full implementation of the Broadcasting Service Act and ensure equal access to the State Broadcaster to all contestants during elections.

During an election period, the issue of equal access to the media, particularly radio and television is of critical importance and has a decisive influence on the election outcome. Biased coverage therefore seriously erodes democracy.

For fair political contestation, the state media, who are funded by taxpayers, not ruling party money, must apportion coverage equally to all players in the field.

One response

  1. Sagitarr

    If fairness ever comes out of a “Zanu PF mind” Jesus will appear shortly after that!
    People who don’t like debating issues do not understand that they will one day be on the other side until it hits them in the face.
    The cruelty, vile and malevolence is all too clear to see. Even the EU noted that Charamba the cop quoted an unconstitutional piece of legislation to have protesters arrested and ED was quick to blame the deaths on Chamisa but WHO FIRED THE GUN that killed the 6 people in a supposedly “free” Zimbabwe??? Mhondi ndiani? This brings the question – if we have a full government right now which never vacated office to make way for transition – umm what did we vote for? The incumbents never left office!!!