160G, to publish any advertisement by or on behalf of a political party or candidate contesting an
election, but if the broadcaster or publisher is prepared to publish any such advertisement—The
broadcaster shall offer the same terms and conditions of publication, without discrimination, to all
the political parties and candidates contesting the election.


MISA Zimbabwe Way Forward Post-2023 Zimbabwe Elections

The ZBC’s editorial independence and accountability to the public must be provided for and be
guaranteed. This will go a long way in ensuring the broadcaster is balanced in its coverage in line
with the mandate of a true public broadcaster as espoused by the African Charter on Broadcasting.
Section 61 (4) of the Constitution says all State-owned media of communication must be free
to determine independently the editorial content of their broadcasts or other communications.
It further states that they must be impartial and afford fair opportunity for the presentation of
divergent views and dissenting opinions.

The Broadcasting Services Act was enacted in 2001 and is now obsolete. Certain sections of the
Act have proved difficult to implement and some sections have become inconsistent with the
new constitution. Technology has also evolved rapidly over the last few years, making sections or
definitions of services meaningless or definitions meaningless or out of sync with reality.

MISA Zimbabwe is thus encouraged by the inclusion of the Broadcasting Services Amendment Bill in
the legislative agenda of the 10th Session of Zimbabwe’s Parliament, which increases the threshold of
foreign investment in the broadcasting sector to 40% for foreign investors.
It is hoped the resultant broadcasting law and regulatory framework will be in line with the
Constitution of Zimbabwe, the African Charter on Broadcasting, the African Commission on Human
and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) Declaration on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information,
among other instruments that set democratic principles and standards on regulation while
stimulating growth and sustainability of the broadcasting industry.
The proposed law must also respond to the need for more diversity in the ownership of broadcasting
services. We urge the government to be open to further engagements, concessions and changes to
the Bill based on stakeholder and public input into the law-making process.


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