New Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe Board Expected

Redcliff – A new Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) board will be re-constituted in the coming weeks, the deputy minister of Media, Information and Publicity, Jameson Timba, has revealed.

If that happens, the board will replace the one recently announced by the government, headed by former Media Information Commission (MIC) chairman, Tafataona Mahoso, who is widely regarded in the media field as the "media hangman" after he closed a number of newspapers costing hundreds of jobs for Zimbabwean journalists.

Timba told media practitioners and stakeholders at a meeting organized by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Zimbabwe) in Redcliff in Kwekwe over the weekend to discuss media’s coverage of the national healing process, that the board appointed by the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity, Webster Shamu, a month ago was not constituted properly.

“In the coming weeks a new BAZ board would be set up as the correct appointment procedures were not followed, that board was not constituted properly and the process will be re-visited,”Timba said.

He said the new BAZ board will be expected to immediately call for radio and television applications, ending the current Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) monopoly and giving an opprtunity to Zimbabwean exiled radio stations to apply for licenses.

Timba dened the all inclusive government had failed to open up the media space, saying there had been delays. “The inclusive government has not failed to open up media space in the country but the process of doing so has been delayed due to other processes but the process of opening up the airspace is ongoing,”Timba said.

Mahoso was said to have performed dismally during interviews for the new Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) that is set to replace the MIC. Some of the successful candidates were supposed to be picked up for the BAZ board but this was not the case as only a few were picked. The rest of the board announced by Shamu are Zimbabwe Open University Vice Chancellor, Dr Primrose Kurasha, Edward Dube, Colonel Reuben Mqwayi (Rtd), Charity Moyo, Brigadier General Elasto Madzingira (Rtd), Erica Mususa, Reverend Mutuvira, Chief Gambiza, former ZBC Head Susan Makore and Dr Vimbai Chivaura.

The appointment of the BAZ board caused a furore after the MDC-T alleged that the appointment of BAZ board members and other public utilities falling under the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity was a Global Political Agreement (GPA) issue which needed the input of all the three principals to the GPA.

Apart from appointing BAZ board members Shamu has also appointed board members to NewZiana, Transmedia and Kingstons and ZBH (Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings) boards.