ZBC cannot be transformed – Mtetwa

Harare, – Top Harare media and human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa says ZBC cannot be transformed into a true public broadcaster due to years of politicisation saying its staff will need to be re-trained even if that was to happen.\r\n

“I doubt that ZBC in its current state and in our current political environment can in fact be transformed,” said Mtetwa while addressing a World Press Freedom Day function in Harare on Tuesday.

“The route we ought to be taking is not the transformation of ZBC but providing serious competition to ZBC.”

Mtetwa said it will be a tough ask to transform ZBC.

“To transform ZBC we need political will to do so,” said Mtetwa. “Our state of governance and democracy will not allow ZBC to be transformed we will need to transform ourselves first.”

She blasted the politicians in the inclusive government for wasting time discussing transformation saying they should rather introduce alternative media and see if ZBC will survive.

“If ZBC dies let it die because other broadcasters will be there and will be favoured by those who require their services more than we are currently getting from ZBC,” Mtetwa added.

She had no kind words for ZBC journalists who are used in the propaganda phony war saying these will need to go back to school to understand the basics of journalism.

“Transformation requires a change of the mindset to ensure that public broadcasters do not become tools of political players that they can use as and when they want to advance their own policies,” said Mtetwa.

“ZBC has been run-down and journalists will need retraining, imagine journalists who for ten years have not really been able to practise journalism because of a stifling environment in which they operate.

Imagine having all your stories spiked or edited to an extent where you don’t recognise them. They will need to be retrained.”