Binga North legislator Prince Dubeko Sibanda says the media landscape in Zimbabwe has not changed at all and continues to be dominated by two people despite the new dispensation.
Previously it was President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace, now it is President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his wife Auxillia.
Whenever the opposition is given coverage, it is negative.
“During the days of the former President of this country, President R. G. Mugabe, especially in his final days, public media was known to cover prominently two people at the expense of everyone else. These two people were always Cde. R. G. Mugabe or Cde. Grace Mugabe,” Sibanda told Parliament.
“Those were the people that were prominently covered at any moment in the public media of this country. We know that everywhere Cde. Mugabe went or his wife went, ZBC would send outside broadcasting vehicles to go and beam to the whole nation what will be taking place live and at the expense of the tax payer.
“After the removal of President Mugabe, we thought that things were going to change and we expected that in terms of media coverage, we will see at least a fair manner of coverage of all citizens of this country without giving prominence to certain particular individuals.
“However, as we currently speak, if statistics can be taken we will find that the State media, ZBC included has covered President E. D. Mnangagwa and his wife more than they have been covering anybody or any institution in this country.
“Last week as I was driving towards Bulawayo, I met three OB vehicles for ZBC that were coming from covering President Mnangagwa and they were also coming from covering his wife. So, it means that we have not moved from the previous dispensation. We continue to have State media that covers one person and his wife.”
Sibanda said access to the media by all political players was critical if Zimbabwe was to have free and fair elections.
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