via ZBC fight: Majome slams mischief claim 29/04/2014 NewZimbabwe
HARARE West MP, Jessie Majome, who is currently challenging the continued payment of listeners’ licences to ZBC, has hit back at government which described her Constitutional Court challenge as mischievous.
The MDC-T top official insists the biased programming by the State broadcaster tended to alienate non-ZANU PF listeners from its broadcasts, among some of her reasons.
This elicited snide remarks from government which in its response to the ConCourt challenge, described the MDC-T lawmaker’s legal fight as mischievous.
Through its lawyers, government further accused the former deputy Justice court challenge as meant to stifle or cripple the ZBC.
Government insisted listeners’ obligation to pay the fees were the same as those of paying tax, adding that ZBC was a national broadcaster whose licence fees were permissible at law.
The state also argued that Majome’s claims of bias had not been proven dismissing that as only her own belief that the national broadcaster favoured the ruling party.
Instead of approaching the courts alleging bias by the broadcaster, government argued, Majome should have lodged her complaints with the State run Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ).
“I have a constitutional right to approach the Constitutional Court as I am doing, what sense would there be in approaching the very parent of the same unconstitutional state of affairs – the ZBC monopoly? The BAZ is actually a cog in the ZBC wheel of unconstitutionality.”
Recently, the secretary in the Information ministry was quoted in the state media as saying that the jurisdiction of collecting listeners’ licences will be soon be ceded to BAZ.
But Majome, an MDC-T executive member, in her application is arguing that Zimbabweans should not at all be compelled to pay anything associated with the ZBC listenership.
She says most Zimbabweans have since stopped listening to “propaganda” which the broadcaster churns out through its radio and television stations.
Many locals have resorted to watching the much expensive pay-per-view television rather than tune to ZBC whose “substandard” programmes were recently condemned by the Information minister Jonathan Moyo.