SADC went beyond its mandate on exiled media

via SADC went beyond its mandate on exiled media | SW Radio Africa By Tichaona Sibanda

SADC overstepped its mandate of observing the July 31st elections, by advocating for the immediate closure of exiled radio and TV stations broadcasting into Zimbabwe, according to analysts.

Political analysts and journalists interviewed by SW Radio Africa on Tuesday condemned the recommendation and described it as retrogressive.

Gideon Chitanga, a PhD candidate in politics and international studies with Rhodes University in South Africa, said the recommendation can only be described as going beyond their mandate to observe elections. He said the SADC mandate did not ask them to make recommendations about the country’s media laws.

Chitanga told our weekly program Padare-Speak out that the observer mission, led byTanzanian Foreign minister Bernard Membe, may have misdirected itself for demanding the closure of exiled media.

Presenting the report in Harare on Monday, Membe said the conduct of the July 31st elections, was ‘free, peaceful and generally credible.’

‘This is hypocrisy on the part of SADC. ZANU PF refused to reform media laws in Zimbabwe and SADC kept quiet. The reason we have these private radio stations operating outside the country is because they were denied operating licences by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe.

‘A ZANU PF government will never accept interference by other countries in its internal affairs. So why should we accept foreign interference designed to buttress a system that is expected to suppress the flow of information,’ queried Chitanga.

Wonder Guchu, a former Zimpapers journalist now working in Windhoek, Namibia said SADC’s intentions were meant to deprive Zimbabweans of alternative voices.

‘In Zimbabwe we only have ZBC radio and TV stations controlled by ZANU PF. And the other two independent radio stations are controlled by Supa Mandiwanzira, (a ZANU PF MP) and Zimpapers.

‘The reason why these stations were established outside the country is simply because they were not allowed to operate in Zimbabwe. In Namibia there are about ten state and independent radio stations, and so why is it a problem to create space for others to operate,’ Guchu said.

While the regional body applauded Zimbabwe for holding peaceful elections, it did not mention the rigging accusations made by the MDC-T and civil society organizations.



  • comment-avatar
    Russell 11 years ago

    This uneducated person from SADC is fron another planet, is he for real?? He wants to talk about shutting down exiled radio stations so we have no alternative but to be stuck with ZBC? How much money is he getting from Mugabe? Or who the hell does he think he is? Tell him to go back to that uncivilized country of his and bury his head in the sand he should be wearing goats skin not in a suit he is an animal in human form

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    mutongi gava 11 years ago

    I have just been to tanzania,i now undestand how this so called sadac spokesman thinks.just another dust bowel mentality.most people in sadc think mugabe developed zim, yet he inherited a very well structured system and has failed dismally.u cannot hide the truth foreveri ij shona we say ‘ rine manyanga hari putirwe’

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    Mupanduki 11 years ago

    Please sadc stay away from zim situation u alreay fail now u are buisy with other issues living the main one of vote rigging u think we are stupid we are watching u time will come enjoy suffering of zimbabweans

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    kigo dhamba 11 years ago

    sadc have spoken.anyone can speak what they need for splitting hairs.hatidyi nyaya idzi zvakapera.zanu tonga wakahwinha

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    what has radio stations and sanctions got to do with rigged elections? I just wonder why we have the so-called SADC….instead of focusing on the real issues they talk of radio stations…utter stupidity

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    Mjiba 11 years ago

    zvimbwasungata zvaBob. Why is 60 foreigners’ recommendations are taking precedent over those of 7000 Zimbabwean people???

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    Charles 11 years ago

    I will say it again:
    SADC = Stupid African Demagogues’ Club…..who are you Membe? fokofo mhani!

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    Rudadiso 11 years ago

    Interesting, they do not call upon Mugabe to open the airwaves. They would rather our democratic space be closed completely. Those who claim that these observers were given diamonds are probably right because nothing these idiots say makes sense.