The ministry of information in Zimbabwe has disputed allegations that the ruling political party has a direct influence on programming at the State broadcaster, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).
According to the ministry, opposition parties invited by the institution do not respond positively.
Address delegates at a disinformation workshop recently, George Chisoko, the director of media services in the ministry, said the government had never determined what was broadcasted on TV or radio.
Chisoko was responding to a presentation delivered by professor Admire Mare which touched on ZBC’s coverage of political players.
“I can tell you that we asked ZBC to come up with a programme schedule where they would give everyone, including opposition parties, a slot to go on air and talk of what they are doing, but not many have been forthcoming, including Zanu PF,” Chisoko said.
“We have programmes where the ruling party is invited, but nobody shows up; the same happens with opposition parties. For professor Mare to state that the ruling party intervenes in operations at ZBC is not valid, and that has never happened.
Over the years, the public broadcaster has been accused of being a Zanu PF propaganda mouthpiece by civic society, politicians and media experts who argue that the absence of a buffer between the state and its operations had impacted its independence.
At the workshop, the dominance of ruling party activities on the main news bulletin, broadcast at 8 pm daily, was also cited because its audience viewed it as a Zanu PF-controlled platform.