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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 13 DECEMBER 2011 VOL. 38 NO. 20

Tuesday, 13th December, 2011.

The House of Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o'clock p.m.

 

PRAYERS

(MR. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY MR. SPEAKER

ADJOURNMENT OF COMMITTEE BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: I wish to inform all Members of Parliament that the business of all Committees of Parliament will be adjourned on Thursday, 16th December, 2011. The resumption of the business of Committees will be on Monday, 16th January, 2012.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): I move that Order of the Day, No. 1 be stood over until the rest of the Orders have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

Question again proposed.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 14th December, 2011.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA): I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 3 and 4 be stood over until the rest of the Orders have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

DISSOLUTION OF THE BROADCASTING AUTHORITY OF ZIMBABWE BOARD

MR. CHIKWINYA: I move the motion standing in my name;

That this House:

AWARE of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) Article XIX(19) which seeks to ensure immediate processing of all applications in terms of the Broadcasting Services Act to achieve freedom of expression in a multi-party democracy;

DESIROUS of ensuring the opening up of airwaves and ensuring the operation of as many media houses as possible;

CONDEMNING the unilateral re-appointment of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) board by the Minister of Information and Publicity against the provisions of the Broadcasting Services Act as amended in 2007;

FURTHER condemning the recent irregular issuance of commercial broadcasting licences to the two politically aligned players, that is, Zimpapers Talk Radio and AB Communications;

Now therefore, resolves to:

(i) Call for the dissolution of the current BAZ Board unilaterally

appointed by the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity on 30 September 2009;

(ii) Have implementation of the provisions of BSA as amended in

2007 that provides for the BAZ Board to be appointed by His Excellency the President in consultation with the Parliamentary Standing Rules and Orders Committee;

(iii) Call for the immediate withdrawal of licences to Zimpapers

Talk Radio and AB Communications to allow for further consultations by all stakeholders.

MR. H. MUDZURI: I second.

MR. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for allowing me to present before this House this particular motion which seeks to address what I have termed, irregular issuance of broadcasting licences by the Broadcasting Association of Zimbabwe Board. The background to our broadcasting in Zimbabwe is such that since 1980, we have been witnessing a monopolised broadcasting service being rendered only to one political party or one political player in Government.

Madam Speaker, in recognition to this when political diversity began to be achieved in 2000, in 2007 the Government of Zimbabwe amended the Broadcasting Services Act and called for, in Section 4, the establishment of the Broadcasting Authority Board. Madam Speaker, this board is supposed to be appointed by the Head of State after consultation with the Minister and the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders. What we have currently as the Broadcasting Association of Zimbabwe Board is not the case with regards to the law.

Madam Speaker, as we speak, we have two operating houses which were granted licences by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe in the recent weeks. My question Madam Speaker is that, we cannot have thieves sitting around to be dishing out tithes. We cannot have an illegal board sitting around to be issuing licences when there is an issue around their legality themselves. Madam Speaker, if I may relate to you Section 4 of the Broadcasting Services Act as amended in 2000, it reads - sub section (2) reads, "Subject to sub-section 3, the board shall consist of 12 members of whom the following 9 members shall be appointed by the President after consultation with the Minister and the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders.

Two shall be persons chosen from their experience or professional qualifications in the field of the broadcasting technology and broadcasting content respectively. One shall be a Chief as defined in the Traditional Leaders Act, nominated by the Chief's Council referred in the Act. One shall be a legal practitioner of not less than 5 years standing, registered in terms of the law, one shall be a public accountant of not less than 5 years, standing registered in terms of the law. One shall be a representative of churches or other religious bodies chosen from a list of six nominees submitted by groups requested by the Minister to be a representative of churches or other religious bodies. The other three members shall be appointed by the President from the list of six nominees submitted by the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders".

This is a question of so who is in the BAZ? The current BAZ board, as reconstituted on the 30th September 2009, has Dr. Tafataona Mahoso as Chair, Dr. Primrose Kurasha as Deputy Chair, Mr. Edward Dube, Colonel R MuquayoCharity Moyo, Retired Brigadier General Calisto Madzingira, Mrs. Erica Mususa, Rev. J. D. Mutuvira, Chief Gambiza, Susan Makore, Dr. Vimbai Chivaura and Dr. Godfrey Chada. It is necessary for this House to know, who are these people and why were they appointed in the Board. I will begin with the Chairperson, Dr. T. Mahoso. He doubles in regulating both the print media as the Chief Executive officer of the Zimbabwe Media Commission and chairing the disputed Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe. His opinions of freedom of expression in the independent media is public information. He contributes to the lengthy articles in the Zimpapers and Sunday Mail. In 2010, September, ZANU PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo was quoted as saying and I quote "Jonathan Moyo and T Mahoso carry voluntary work for ZANU PF at the party's headquarters".

Madam Speaker, a henchman is a person who is employed by a dictator to execute strategies of a dictator on behalf of the dictator. However, the henchman does it in a manner the dictator has never imagined himself.Mr. Tafataona Mahoso has executed strategies far worse-far-off than what the President has done himself. Mafam Speaker, in the same board is Susan Makore who is the Managing -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, order in the House. Hon. Mazikana!

MR. MAZIKANA: On a point of order, in his speech, he has referred to a dictator -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. members, order in the House. Hon. Mazikana, can you continue?

MR. MAZIKANA: He needs to explain to the House whom he is referring to as the dictator -[AN HON. MEMBER: Tsvaga dictionary]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Mazikana, stop pointing your finger to another hon. member. If you cannot continue, sit down -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

MR. MAZIKANA: I need your protection.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am protecting you, and I cannot protect you more than what I am doing. Let us have order in the House. Order Hon. members, order in the House!

MR. MAZIKANA: Is there any dictatorship in this beautiful country of ours? He is mistaken.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mazikana, there is absolutely no point of order here.

MR. MANGWANA: On a point of order. The hon. member, by inference, has actually called President Mugabe a dictator. Madam Speaker, the hon. member started by saying that a henchman is a person who operates on behalf of a dictator, and went further to say that he would prefer President Mugabe being Chairman of the Board than Mahoso, thereby intimating that Tafataona Mahoso is a henchman of a dictator, who is President Mugabe. That is wrong because you cannot take or use the privilege of this House to attack a Head of State who is not able to respond. President Mugabe is in power through the Global Political Agreement after being elected, and he works with the Prime-Minister, the Deputy Prime-Minister and the Cabinet. Therefore, to label him a dictator is wrong. The member must withdraw.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order hon. members. I did not hear Hon. Chikwinya saying that, so your point of order is overruled.

MR. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Madam Speaker. The advantage of having lawyers in this House is that at times they fill in the gap; they fill in the lacuna which some could have missed. I am grateful to Hon. Member of Parliament Mangwana for filling in the gap. In the same board chaired by Tafataona Mahoso and the Deputy Susan Makore...

MR. BHASIKITI: On a point of order Madam Speaker. If you want order to prevail in this House, do not make partisan rulings -[AN HON. MEMBER: Address the Chair]- -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. members on my right please!

MR. BHASIKITI: Madam Speaker, on clear issues, when the hon. member is supposed to withdraw for attacking the Head of State, you Madam Speaker just allow him to proceed. Madam Speaker, you are disregarding the rules and procedures of Parliament and as such, you will find it very difficult for you to keep order in this House and for us to allow him to proceed. You have to make sure that he withdraws, otherwise he is not going to proceed.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. members, order. -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- I said order Hon. Bhasikiti. If you want to make noise in this House, you can continue, but I have already made a ruling. Hon. Chikwinya, you can continue.

MR. CHIKWINYA: Madam Speaker, in the same board, Susan Makore, a member of the board, is the Managing Director of Super Mandiwanzira's Mighty Movers Private Limited. Media analysts say the web relations of the Broadcasting Authority goes beyond the political ties.

MR. NDAVA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order hon. member, please switch off that mike.

MR. NDAVA: My point of order is that in this House we are privileged to have the recordings, so, if I doubt what the honourable member said it is only fair to refer to what is in the recordings. I think the hon. member was referring to the President as a dictator. He is the head of State and we will not allow that to continue. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members. Hon. Chikwinya, for the sake of progress, can you withdraw that statement?

MR. CHIKWINYA: Whereas other members could have heard that I said that the President is a dictator. I never referred to the President as a dictator. - [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can you just withdraw that statement?

MR. CHIKWINYA: Madam speaker, in respect to your Chair and to you as a person, I fulfill your request. Wherever I said dictator, I withdraw.

Madam Speaker, in the same board chaired by Tafataona Mahoso sits Susan Makore. Susan Makore is the Managing Director of Supa Mandiwanzira's Mighty Movies Private Limited. Madam Speaker, let me refer to you that the two media houses which have been granted licences by the illegal Broadcasting Authority Board of Zimbabwe. So far AB Communications owned by one Supa Mandiwanzira and the Zi-Radio owned by Zimpapers. This is actually important as we capture our deliberations because we know what we are discussing about. So, with AB Communications we have Susan Makore who is the Managing Director of Mighty Movies Zimbabwe and Supa Mandiwanzira is the Director. We also have Susan Makore sitting in the Broadcasting Authority Board, which is a licencing body which is supposed to receive licences and issue them out to the applicants. Then we have AB Communications where she has interests and is sitting in the same board which is granting licences and there is a conflict of interest amongst the situation.

I would have expected that Susan Makore should have recused herself from the whole process all together rather thanrecuse herself at the press conference but when she was heavily involved in the deliberations of issuing of licences.

Madam Speaker, in the same board, we have Dr. Primrose Kurasha who is the Deputy Chair. She is with the Zimbabwe Open University. Her husband, Mr. James Kurasha is the former Commissioner in the Makwavarara led City Council. We all know Madam Speaker that Commissions being appointed by Minister Chombo are appointed on political lines.

We also have Col. Ruben Mqwayi, a retired soldier, a clear manifestation that there is militarisation of civilian activities. In the same board we have Mrs. Charity Moyo, she was a ZANU PF youth wing at the University of Zimbabwe the period 1996 to 1998. She defected from the Students Representative Council after she repeated one of her courses. She later worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We are not quite sure what she was doing at that moment. We also have Brigadier General Elisto Madzingira, a soldier. Again you will find that we have continued militarisation of civilian authority.

We have Ms. Erica Mususa, she is the ZBC Corporate Secretary. She was in the previous board and she is a partner at Mususa and Associates. Therefore establishing conflict of interest whilst practising law and at the same time a Company Secretary. That is conflict of interest. Mr. Speaker, sir, we have Dr. Vimbai Chivaura, if you are lucky to be resident in Harare where you receive ZBC transmission, some of us resident in Kwekwe we have poor reception there but Dr. Chivaura anchors on the programme there called Dzimbabwe. It is a programme clearly designed to articulate ZANU PF issues within the national broadcast as he anchors this programme together with Tafataona Mahoso and the likes of Cloud Mararike and others. Mr. Speaker, we have Dr. G. Chagadama, who is formerly of the Zimbabwe Media Trust owned by Zimpapers. Now you find that you have an employee of Zimpapers sitting in a licencing meeting where Zimpapers are an applicant and ultimately Zimpapers gets a licence. It has not come as a surprise. So, we are actually establishing a conflict of interest here.

There is one Edward Dube, again a board member of Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe. His details are not known but we have high suspicion that he works for the secret service and as such members of the secret service their details are also secretive.

Mr. Speaker Sir, it would be very important to know why Minister Shamu is going against the legal provisions which passed through this Parliament in 2007 to establish a board where he knows that there are provisions of an Act which empowers the President in his capacity as head of state and government to be establishing the same board but it does not come as a surprise that Minister Webster Shamu is ZANU PF Commissariate who is also Minister responsible for Broadcasting Services has total control of broadcasters here in Zimbabwe obviously for the benefit of his party. This is in detriment and contravention to the aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe.

The history to it is that the people of Zimbabwe had contestable elections of June 27, 2008 -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members.

MR. CHIKWINYA: The fact that there was no answer to the same elections it means that it created an opportunity for Zimbabweans to come together in their political diversity to chart the way forward for the people of Zimbabwe. The three parties as representatives in Parliament, ZANU PF, MDC led by Rt. Hon. Tsvangirai and MDC led by Hon. Mutambara came together under the Global Political Agreement, which among the key issues is Article 19 and Article 19 says to ensure the immediate processing of all applications in terms of the Broadcasting Services Act to achieve freedom of expression in a multi party democracy; desires issuance of opening up the airwaves and ensuring the operations of as many media houses as possible. I have the statistics to the effect that concern us as Zimbabwe that we only have ZBC and we have no media polarity in Zimbabwe therefore establishing media diversity and other new players to be able to shun out independent views. Between the period July 13 to July 20 of 2010 and we already, almost in the inclusive government, almost one and half years in the inclusive government, we had recordings and I kept the sources, Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe where we have recordings only ZANU PF music was been played from the 13 - 20th of July under ZBC. I present my evidence:

Fig 1: Timeframe of the ZANU PF songs/jingles on ZTV (July 13 -20, 2010)

Date

Time

Song

Duration

13/7/10

During the 7 am bulletin

MuZimbabwe

2 min 53 secs

13/7/10

During the opening of the 3rd Session of the 7th Parliament

Nyatsoteerera and MuZimbabwe

N/A

13/7/10

After 8 pm news bulletin

Nyatsoteerera

N/A

14/7/10

Before 1 pm news bulletin

Nyatsoteerera

3 mins 2 secs

14/7/10

Part of the build-up to the fiscal policy review presentation

Nyatsoteerera and MuZimbabwe

4 mins 42 secs and 4 min 57 secs respectively

14/7/10

After 6 pm news bulletin

Nyatsoteerera

4 mins 58 secs

14/7/10

Just before the 8 pm bulletin

MuZImbabwe

4 mins 44 secs

14/7/10

After the 8 pm bulletin

Nyatsoteerera

4 mins 58 secs

15/7/10

Before 1 pm bulletin

Nyatsoteerera

N/A

15/7/10

Before 6 pm news bulletin

MuZimbabwe

4 mins 45 secs

15/7/10

Just before 8 pm news bulletin

Nyatsoteerera

4 mins 58 secs

16/7/10

Just before 1 pm news bulletin

MuZimbabwe

4 mins 24 secs

18/7/10

12:30:00 PM

Nyatsoteerera

N/A

18/7/10

Before 6 pm news bulletin

Nyatsoteerera

4 mins 58 secs

18/7/10

Around 7 pm

Team

4 mins 22 secs

20/7/10

After 1 pm news bulletin

Team

4 mins 19 secs

20/7/10

After 8 pm bulletin

Team

4 mins 21 secs

21/7/10

After 1 pm bulletin

MuZimbabwe

4 mins 50 secs

       

It is quite evident that the political parties are gearing for elections and one of the key issues within the global political agreement is to open up airwaves. Fundamentally so when we are going to elections...

MR. SPEAKER: Honourable members, order! Please can you allow to have reasonable debate. You will be given an opportunity to respond in the manner you perceive this motion. I do not want to start mentioning names. I may be compelled to make sure that there is order here if you continue to make this House unmanageable.

MR. CHIKWINYA: I was saying the political parties are in full view that the nation is gearing towards elections and there is divergence in thinking towards the same. Let me just take you back to the period preceding the March and June 2008 and reflect to this House how much abuse was done to the people of Zimbabwe by one political player, ZANU PF to be specific in as far as broadcasting services is concerned.

In an electoral contest, public media are strictly mandated to provide non-partisan information about election contestants and to act as an information services with regards to electoral procedure. They should not favour one party over another. In the two elections, however, of March and July 2008, ZBC was blatantly biased in favour of ZANU PF granting the ruling party a total of 210 hours 39 minutes for its coverage of the campaigns over all other political parties which only received 16 hours 44 minutes.

Airtime in the March elections, in addition, most of this coverage portrayed to the opposition was in negative light. This is a critical aspect. Of the 210 hours 39 minutes, positive. Even if you bring out Hon. Bhasikiti, it is in the positive but if you want to bring Hon. Chikwinya because he is also a candidate, you have broadcasted yes, but it is negative publicity. We need to realign ourselves within the context of providing free and fair electoral platform. Why I am talking of the board in ZBC is such that we need to create media diversity and plurality of the thinking of independence of broadcasting in Zimbabwe. If we are going to have a board which is going to clone ZBC and multiply ZBC to become various other creatures in various other names but still pursuing the same monopoly of favouring one political player in this case ZANU PF, then we are not going anywhere.

The fact that Article 19 was actually but in the GPA and also comes in Constitution number 19 which is basically a textbook account of the GPA, was to make sure that we achieve media plurality and make sure that we create a free and fair ground. Any candidate who wants to share anything with the electoral must be able to do so without any hindrance without been censored by any broadcaster, ZBC in particular. With reference to statistics again, during the week ending Sunday 2 March 2010, ZBC devoted 64 minutes of its news bulleting of reporting favourably of ZANU PF campaigns compared to just 3 minutes given to the two MDC factions and 8 minutes to Makoni. We all understand why Makoni because he was one of their sidelines.

Such prominence given to the ruling party constitutes grossly inequitable unfair and partisan coverage of important electoral issues and essentially reflects the way the national public broadcaster has been reporting porting all election campaign activities. This does not spare the following elections which are due anytime. If I am going to agree with Hon. Bhasikiti it will be next year and if I am going to agree with the rest of the nation it will be 2013. We need to prepare a fair ground. We need to prepare a common ground whereby everyone is able to share his or her views with people of Zimbabwe.

In June of 2010, it is on record that the principles to the GPA, the President himself, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister here present, issued a statement that indeed they had recognised the irregularity of the Constitution of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe. In their rightful wisdom, the Principals to the GPA are in agreement with this motion that they are irregularities with the Constitution of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe as it is currently constituted. Various efforts have been done to correct the same. The argument coming from the Minister is that he consulted with the Standing Rules and Orders Committee.

But I want to bring it to this House that he did not consult the House because what he did, is to take the rejects from interview of the Zimbabwe Media Commission. The Zimbabwe Media Commission called for interviews and selected its best candidates to be commissioners. Rejects from the interviews were then seconded to the BAZ. You cannot have a student applying for medicine at the University and then he fails the interviews then you have the Faculty of Engineering saying we want him here. That cannot be. He has to re-apply and suit the criteria of that particular interview which they are supposed to be. We cannot have people who failed in the ZMC interviews coming to become candidates within the BAZ.

The second issue is that the adverts calling for candidates for the ZMC because this was a commission as prescribed by law and Constitution. The Board is only a statutory instrument which is void of the Commission as prescribed by the law. This is the only to support the issue that the selection of candidates themselves was flawed and the criterion which we are actually establishing in BAZ is also flawed.

I know my outgoing Secretary General of the other party might be worried that the MDC is saying we do not have also a player representing us within the people granting licences. We are arguing that was flawed from beginning. Even the provisions of section 4 of the Broadcasting Services Act are not in themselves wholly democratic. They provide for the President after consultation with the Standing Rules and Orders Committee as democracy personal we are also going to challenge through other avenues. As of now, it was better to follow the same because that is what is there and until that is changed, we have to follow that. In the broader spectrum of democratising our broadcasting sphere and actually reviewing the whole policy framework on how we are going to be dishing out information to the people of Zimbabwe. The same Broadcasting Services Act has its own lacuna.

Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, I would like, to say since the licenses were issued out in an irregular manner, in a manner which I interpret as illegal, in a manner which the Principles to the Global Political Agreement also view as irregular. I therefore call that the licences be withdrawn with immediate effect. We must have the BAZ properly established in terms of the current legislation as it is. If anything, we are supposed to amend the Act, to democratise the whole process altogether.

One of the provisions in the GPA says that we should influence the abolishment of foreign funded radio stations in foreign countries, some of which are being funded by foreign Governments. Here we had VOP coming all the way from wherever they are operating from outside Zimbabwe, they applied for a license, you denied them. You are going against the spirit and letter of your GPA. How then can you expect them to abolish their operations outside the country to come and operate in Zimbabwe? We are giving them conditions which they cannot even establish themselves. I was going to be happy that in the event that we have a board, in the event that we are going to be open in this process, the broadcasters must not be inhibited from licensing. They should be told where to go and correct any misdemeanors within their applications. That is what we do, if you want to open a bottle store, you are not denied the opportunity. You are told to go and put an empties warehouse and ablution facilities and when you do that, you are granted a license. That is not supposed to be happening. We need to abolish the whole system altogether, than to only appoint two media houses which are only a multiplicity of one media voice. I thank you Mr. Speaker.

MR. H. MUDZURI: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to express my views on the motion on the irregular issuance of broadcasting licenses. The mover of the motion has actually gone in detail to explain the legality and illegality of the whole process. What I am going to do is to start with what our supreme law says, that is the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Amendment No. 19, section 19(1) paragraph (a) which says, "The parties hereby agree that the Government shall ensure the immediate processing by the appropriate authorities of all applications or re-registration and registration in terms of both the Broadcasting Services Act as well as Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act ..." That is what the supreme law says. It says, whatever is going to be done, whatever considerations are going to be made when considering applications for registration, we need to consider the provisions in the Broadcasting Services Act.

Mr. Speaker, we want to find out, when BAZ issued licenses to AB Communications and the other company, whether this was followed. If it was not followed, that is disregarding the laws that were made by this Parliament. What does the Broadcasting Services Act say concerning the establishment and composition of BAZ board? This is the board that regulates and controls the broadcasting frequency spectrum in this country. Like what the mover of the motion has done, he quoted Section 4. I will do so without going into detail but I will take sub-paragraph 1 and 2. Sub paragraph 1 says, "The operations of the authority shall, subject to this Act, be controlled and managed by the board, to be known as the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe board", which I will later on refer to as BAZ.

Subsection 2 says, "…subject to subsection 3…", - subsection 3 is an issue of gender to say of the 12, the first 9, 3 are expected to be women. For the other 3, one is expected to be a woman again. "The board shall consist of 12 members which shall be appointed by the President after consultation with the Minister and the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders. Three members shall be appointed by the President from a list of 6 nominees submitted by the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders." Now we wonder whether, when the minister appointed BAZ members, he was an Acting President? If he was an Acting President, did he consult the Minister of Information and Publicity? We want that to be clarified because as a minister, according to the law, he does not have the authority to appoint these members. That is all the prerogative of the President.

Mr. Speaker, what this means is that this grouping in BAZ is illegal and illegitimate. Just because it is illegal and illegitimate - if a child is born because of a combination of illegal parents, that child also becomes illegal and illegitimate. So this is a child born out of wedlock, the product of BAZ is the AB Communications. Someone whispered to me saying AB Communications means Always Biased Communications. So these licenses are also illegal and illegitimate. There is also a controversy like what the mover of the motion has alluded to in the procedure that was used when people later on got their names in the BAZ board. These people applied to be in the Zimbabwe Media Commission but they were later considered to be in the BAZ board. It is like, if someone applies to be a Commissioner in the PSC and then fails, you then later on find yourself in the Education Board that is headed by Chakanyuka and Fay Chung. Is that proper, is that correct? That is what is worrying.

Mr. Speaker, one wonders why we have laws in this country. Why do we have media laws in this country and why are our laws not followed? That is the question that boggles the mind. We have of course, laws in our country to correct or remedy societal ills. Similarly, we have media laws to correct or to remedy the ills that are in the media fraternity. Some of these ills are the monopoly of the airwaves, biased and unbalanced reporting and patronage in the selection of members to certain boards that will be influential in the operation of the media. So in trying to correct these ills in the media, we were advocating for the airwaves to be opened up so that we have many players in the media fraternity who are going to be involved and these players are going to be independent, they are not going to be influenced by the political parties, by important people or by anyone. These are supposed to be independent and do their job independently.

When the people of Zimbabwe demand plurality broadcasting, they were not saying we want ZBC to ….

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Mangwana and Hon. Tshuma, you bow to the Chair.

MR. H. MUDZURI: So, I was saying, it is not a matter of duplicating ZBC to multiply so that it is just a ZBC in a different manner, we wanted something that is exactly different. The people of Zimbabwe were expecting that now the media waves were going to be opened up, they were expecting radio stations like Studio 7, SW radio, VoP to be licenced and Capital Radio the one that suffered this legal battle to be licenced but alas, there comes the two broadcasters which have a good relationship not only with ZBC but even with the former ruling party, ZANU PF this does not auger well with any normal average Zimbabwean in the streets.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, when BAZ was formed, and the way it was composed, as the mover of the motion has expressed, it actually exposed institutionalised and official corruption in the Ministry of Information and Publicity. RobertKligaardin his work entitled controlling corruption points out that whether an activity is public, private or non profit, whether it is being carried out in Ouagadougou or Washington, one will tend to find corruption when an organisation or person, in this case is the Minister Hon. Shamu, he has monopoly over a good or a service and has discretion to decide who will receive it and who will not and how much that person will get and is not accountable.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, because BAZ was not unilaterally appointed by the Hon Minister of Information and Publicity Hon Minister Shamu, it means BAZ is controlled by Hon. Shamu and it means he influences its decisions. It means it is accountable not to anyone else but to the Minister himself and that causes rise to official corruption. Because I suspect official corruption, I urge the Anti Corruption Commission to start work by investigating how BAZ was constituted and to make its findings public. You know what, corruption finds its way into a system easily when what is done in that system is not transparent, it is opaque, secret and sacred.

Mr. Speaker, no one knows the criteria that was used to vet the prospect candidates to be in the BAZ, everything was shrouded, it was in darkness yet this was supposed to be made public so that even the prospective candidates know that I am expected to meet 1, 2, 3, 4 and the results were supposed to be publicised saying candidate A you scored this. This was supposed to be public because BAZ is doing public work. But from the look of things, because it was done in secrecy, only those who had inside information - according to what the mover of the motion has said, Susan Makore who once worked for ZBC leading Kidsnet and also is working for Supa Mandiwanzira's company had all inside information and she should have used that inside information to influence the behaviour of these two broadcasters.

Also, there was morale corruption where Zimpapers which was already enjoying the space in the media fraternity also joined the newcomers in applying and competing with these new comers for space, it was just like Zimpapers was like the examiner setting its test, writing that test, marking that test and gives itself distinctions and celebrates.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, genuine opening of airwaves is evidenced when the players that are licenced do not raise eyebrows when their names are mentioned. When people who are in these boards that authorise the licences, the names of people who are there are very questionable, you wonder whether these people are partial or impartial. The other issue is that when the licencing was being done, we thought we already had a public broadcaster, and we also have now these two illegal commercial broadcasters. I heard that there is an intention to have 14 other commercial broadcasters but according to the three tier principle, we were supposed to have a community broadcaster that which will deal with issues pertaining particular community, if I am in Zaka, the people in Zaka can easily tune into that and they get their issues articulated well but from what is happening, there is nothing of that sort. Because of all what is happening now, one is forced to conclude that the issuances of licences to these two broadcasters was a political gimmick that was meant to cheat SADC, to cheat the AU into believing that now the government is fulfilling the provision in the GPA yet there is no change at all. If there is any change, it is a change for the worst. It means what has actually happened is, a certain party by the name of ZANU PF has accorded its two campaigning tools to air their propaganda as a machinery in the coming elections, which will be handy and these elections will be impossible to rate as free and fair elections in that scenario.

Let me urge the Government to be serious when giving our licenses so that the net effect should be to provide correct, fair and balanced coverage of what will be happening so that the people of this country will make informed decisions, even for electing their Members of Parliament, Presidents and their Councillors. I thank you.

MR. NDAVA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I also join others by saying good afternoon Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the mover of the motion Hon. Chikwinya for bringing this issue to the House and surely I have a few points that I feel I have to raise.

Amendment No. 19 of the Global Political Agreement, which gave birth to the Inclusive Government, sought to pluralise the air waves by opening up both the electronic and print media or whatever you might want to call it.

It has issues to do with registration and re-registration of some of the Media Houses. Yes, we might be happy to only rush to talk about the two newly registered broadcasters, but let me say we have seen the introduction of the Daily News and the birth of the News Day and we also saw the Mail and the Patriot together with H-Metro and all the other papers that we see on the streets.

I think it is unfair for the members to debate only on one issue that is the issuing of licences to AB Communications and Zi-Radio in the country, but have to view the opening the airwaves and information space in the country as ongoing and we must give credit to the Minister for having done a lot of work in trying to open up the airwaves.

I think we need to understand that BAZ is a board and not a commission. The powers to appoint members of the board rests with the Minister like in any other board. When we have to deal with the issue of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the Minister of Finance appointed the board and the President only had to approve names, the nominations come through the Standing Rules and Orders Committee (SROC).

Secondly, we also have to look at the issue we are talking about, that is - AB Communications and Zi-Radio. We are talking about private business and any person or businessman who wants to do business, if he seizes the opportunity, can also do that. Zimpapers is registered according to the Companies Act together with AB Communications and anyone has the opportunity to do business in this country.

The public out there want the airwaves of this country to be controlled by Zimbabwean citizens only. The issue of bringing VoP and Studio 7, the people out there do not want to hear about that, they want Zimbabweans to run and control the media in this country.

Lastly, let me say that it is very amazing to see hon. members trying to condemn the work that was done by BAZ we are not being good leaders. It will be very unfair to say they are biased. We must acknowledge that Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) is going to have competitors in addition to other existing electronic media stations. That is what we must look at.

In this country, anybody from whatever political party and political persuasion, is allowed to own a business, so it is not a subject of discussion in-house. What is important is to discuss this subject from a view point of being apolitical as long as they meet the requirements.

It is unfair for us to be debating about the suitability of the citizens of this country to own businesses in their own country. BAZ has opened the airwaves to give us other two voices in the broadcasting arena.

We also have to look at the board of BAZ. It is made up of members regardless of their experiences. This board and all boards in this country are comprised with all people from different backgrounds, disciplines and age, as we are also from different fields and persuasions across the country. It is very unfortunate for members of this House to single out only those others with military background as the ones not suitable in the board.

We have to appreciate that different disciplines are found in jobs that they might have been doing in the different sectors of the economy; whether they have been doing it in Government or outside Government. We have to take them as they are whether from the church, military or elsewhere. I think we have to thank BAZ for awarding two licenses to those applicants as it is only the beginning of more to come. I thank you Mr. Speaker.

MR. DZIRUTWE: On a point of order.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order, there is no point of order Hon. Dzirutwe.

MR. NDAVA: Thank you Mr Speaker, he is actually laughing at us, that shows he is not serious with the debate -[Laughter]-

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order, you may continue. Order, I have not yet recognised you.

MR. NDAVA: Thank you Hon. Speaker, I have an example of negative publicity here. During the last weeks, the Print Media was awash with information about the marriage of the Prime Minister but ZBC probably had about two shots which showed the President saying is that a problem to marry. What I am trying to say is, the broadcasting earners of business do not normally like bad publicity to put into their news rooms. It is only the Print Media who will say let us print bad publicity of anybody. So, if you do not find yourself in ZBC cameras, probably you are doing a lot of negative issues because they normally try to project the positive side of issues. So, you must not worry Hon. Chikwinya about publicity.

Let me conclude by saying, I think we must congratulate the Minister of Information and Publicity, on at least trying very hard to fulfil what is needed by the Global Political Agreement that there must be opening of air waves; that other air waves are to be given to other Zimbabweans who are able to do the job and I am sure these beneficiaries will be doing business for profit. Obviously, they will have to do work which will attract more people to use their radio and TV stations, I thank you.

MR. HLONGWANE: Thank you Mr Speaker for affording me this opportunity to debate this very important motion moved by Hon Chikwinya. Hon. Speaker, the mover of the motion is proffering the view that the issuance of licences to two private broadcasting institutions a couple of weeks back was a charade. The gist of my argument is that, the argument is very flawed. Let me start by saying, I am a staunch believer as a journalist myself that the media does contribute in a very important way to democratic development and it is important that Parliament does everything in its power to enable the provision of space to the media for it to be able to operate in an environment that will enable it to operate freely.

Secondly, let me also proffer my feeling that in order for media to be able to be robust in the manner in which it does assist us in democratic development, the issue of pluralism is very important; the issue of diversity of views is also very important Hon. Speaker.

Let me also say that it is important, as one debator has already indicated, for us to note that the issuance of these two licences is not the end in itself. It is, but the beginning of a very important phase in our country where we have stayed for well over 20 years without more diverse views or more diverse media architecture from a point of view of the Electronic media. That to me, is very encouraging that we have already started to do that as a country; particularly that it is coming during a time when we have an Inclusive Government of three different views; three different political characters.

In that context, we are able to drive that process forward, and to me it is very encouraging. It is important also to add that in Zimbabwe, we do have a vibrant media; we do have a very vibrant press. A press that is made up of newspapers; I come from Mberengwa and I know that there is a small newspaper called Sandawana News which covers both Mberengwa and Zvishavane and adjacent communities. It is very important, small, stable but deals with issues affecting these two communities. We also have a very vibrant press in Zimbabwe which expresses itself in national stables. We have over 17 newspapers in this country which write differently, which proffer different and divergent views without fear or favour. Although we have had a few instances where journalists are called to account and express responsibility of their views, it is very regrettable but I must say what I see in this country is that our national stable; national newspapers are able to write about anything from cabbages to kings without fear or favour.

Lastly, on that point, let me indicate that we also have regional stables, I come from the Midlands Province; I know that in Gweru we have several newspapers, one of them is called the Observer. I do not know where the hon. member who moved the motion comes from. In Kwekwe, there are several small newspapers that do not rely on projecting his image or projecting his political influence or trying to understand what the other political players think. We are talking here about the issue of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe and the mover of the motion makes a submission that the constitution of the BAZ was irregular, that is not correct. The SROC is not unaware of the people that constitute the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe because they were involved in the process. The fact that we are raising the issue after licences have been issued, has a lot of implications coming out of that submission Mr Speaker.

First is to say, did we leave this process for more than a year as Parliament of Zimbabwe? It was so serious an issue to do with broadcasting in this country. Did we leave the issue of the constitution of BAZ for more than a year without trying to clarify what is happening as Parliament; without trying to understand how the processes were arrived at; how the decision was arrived at without trying to understand and interrogate the processes that were involved in constituting this very important institution? It cannot be so Mr Speaker. It is obvious and clear that the SROC was involved and we know that all the political parties were involved in the process of identifying individuals that were deployed to this very important institution.

Let me talk about corporate governance; the hon. member raised very pertinent and important issues about corporate governance and some of them are very interesting, listening to him debating them, except that some of them, in terms of fact, are in fact flawed. For example Mr. Speaker, the issue of Susan Makore who is correctly employed by Supa Mandiwanzira's Mighty Movies. Susan Makore did not sit in the interviews that looked at the 14 applicants for the licences. She did recuse herself and she is not the only one. Susan Makore and a Brigadier whose wife sits in the Zimpapers Board; these two did recuse themselves in the interest of corporate governance and best practice and it cannot go beyond that Mr Speaker. It is the best way of approaching it, people do not have to resign their posts. A magistrate does not resign his/her post because their relative has committed a crime. They recuse themselves. They allow another magistrate to takeover the legal process and once those processes are concluded, they go on with their life as normal. They do not have to resign. To insinuate and suggest that Susan Makore and the other fellow Brigadier were supposed to have resigned because they are issues around corporate governance is not only false. It cannot be done in any better way than the way it was done and that is international best practice.

I also want to speak about a very important issue of how BAZ arrived at issuing licences to these two. I indicated that these two are just the beginning. We must have more licences issued to various electronic media, radio and television so that they are able to broadcast and get into very important commercial information sector. BAZ did advertise in the press, in the radios and on television. In terms of calling for the application, that process was done. They did advertise in the newspapers and whilst that was done, those that are interested did respond.

Let me inform this House that 14 companies did apply for radio licensing in this country. These include and are not limited to AB or AB Communications which was later to become one of the companies which was later provided with a licence, HOT Media, Zimpapers through its company called Zi-Radio, there is Radio VOP and there is Yes FM. All these companies are coming from diverse, divergent and different backgrounds. These fourteen, having made their applications, four were shortlisted for interviews. Among these four are the two that were then able to get these licences. We are saying that the BAZ, AB Communications and the other one that did win the licences went through a very public process. A process where not only these companies were invited to an interview that was rigorous and thorough in that they had to submit themselves to a certain criteria. Members of the public and political representatives were invited and did attend and this was a very public process. When the application were called for and when the issuance of licences was done, members of the public were asked to make comments on what they thought about those that were shortlisted and those that eventually got the licences. I think that BAZ, in that respect, did perform their duties in the manner that was expected and indeed it was above board.

Let me proceed to say that for us as Parliament to be dealing with this issue at the end is very unfortunate. I appreciate the fact that the mover of this motion does raise some important issues, but the process has already finished. I dare say that if the honourable had genuine issues to be raised and he saw these adverts in the electronic media and in the press, that is the moment in which this House would have intervened by way of such an important motion. But this did not happen because the honourable member did not see anything wrong about it at the time except that now there are personalities which he is not happy with.

It will be unfortunate if we had to go into a situation where we have to be discussing personalities as if they are not Zimbabweans who deserve a right to be getting these kind of licences and therefore test their opportunities within the business community.

Talking about media pluralism or plurality as it is often referred to, I have already alluded to the fact that we have a robust press in Zimbabwe, but a robust press is not all of the media and that is why it is important that in addition to the two television stations and about four radio stations we now have two, for the first time very private, which are going to run on a commercial basis, not to be subsidised by Government and are not going to be benefiting from the tax payer. I think that is very important and these are coming into a media sector that is also dominated by wires for examples. We have got ZIANA, Reuters, SABC and many others which are already involved in wiring news from Zimbabwe to various media outlets across the country.

What is more important and interesting is that the same BAZ, which is accused of bias and so forth on account of it having issued licences to two personalities, has issued licences to Multichoice which has over 150 different channels for television and any Zimbabwean who has got some money and is able to pay $US15 or $US70 for a full bouquet are able to watch unlimited number of channels, both radio and television. So BAZ has been doing that since it was constituted and I think it deserves accolades from this House for allowing that kind of situation to happen. But beyond that, you know that SABC is operating from Zimbabwe. They are not operating without a licence, but have been licensed by BAZ. SABC is not a pro-state, Zimbabwean State neither is it a ZANU PF media institution. It is an independent institution and a public broadcaster which is based in South Africa operating from within our territory within the legal premise provided for by the BAZ.

Beyond that, there is also Al-Jazeera which operates from Zimbabwe. We know the meaning of Al-Jazeera and we know how they have covered the Arab Spring but this BAZ that we are talking about has the temerit to provide licences to Al-Jazeera to come and operate from here. So is E-TV. These are media institutions that have been granted licenses to operate from Zimbabwe. The argument that therefore by granting licences to AB Communications and to the others that won, is a bias and is fundamentally flawed, is wrong on account of the issues that I have raised. The same BAZ has also been licensing for diffusion services in hotels and supermarkets when you see small advertising snippets. All that is done within the legal unit being licensed by BAZ. In my view, to question the integrity of BAZ is fundamentally flawed. I think these guys have a footprint which is clear and can be followed and which this House can stand for and defend. This is important. Let me finish by saying every Zimbabwean has a right to operate a business in this country. We demean ourselves as a Parliament, if we begin to bother ourselves about personalities, but we should encourage BAZ, after having done this, to do more and open the electronic media space in this country. That will be my point of view. We have started, it is important, it is encouraging and we need to begin to see how these two small new radio stations are going to operate.

We should make the argument as Parliament that says, can you do more; can you go on and make sure that our country is well wired in terms of provision of electronic media services. Thank you.

MR. HOVE: I would like to thank Hon. Chikwinya for bringing a very topical and very relevant motion before this august House. I will begin by digressing a little bit, then I will come back to the motion. In Hon. Chikwinya's earlier submission, his referencing to dictatorship raised the ire of our ZANU PF colleagues. First of all, I would like to correct the misconceptions that were …

MR. SPEAKER: Order hon. member, can you get to the debate and debate the motion. Let us not go back to what was debated earlier on in this House. Can you get to the point of the motion.

MR. HOVE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to go to the motion but I am borrowing, with due respect, from what the mover of the motion has spoken about. The point I want to make is the issue of dictatorship. Dictatorship is a type of leadership that wants to do things at its own terms without consultation. We are in a, inclusive government of three political parties. One of the tenets of the GPA is that, there is supposed to be some consultations before any decisions of importance are made for our nation. The BAZ's composition is one such decision which needed consultation amongst the three political parties. If two of the three political parties rise up and declare that they were never consulted, they are not in agreement, that is a sign of dictatorship. So dictatorship is not found in an individual, but it is a type of leadership exhibited by a party that does not want to consider the other views other than its own views. It is not about an individual.

The other point I am going to make in contributing to this very important topic is that BAZ, I think its name must be changed. If you look at its composition and the members who are in that board, they all represent a particular interest. They are there for the furtherance of a particular political ideology. My thinking would have been the BAZ, before it goes out to dish broadcasting licences would have established what the people of Zimbabwe really want. If you go around the country, you can see the number of satellite dishes hanging on roof tops. This is indicative of what the people of Zimbabwe want. People of Zimbabwe want plurality and divergence of media views pertaining to what is happening in Zimbabwe or what is coming into their households. They do not want too much of the same diet. If I were talking to medical professionals here, when someone is said to be suffering from kwashiokor, it does not help that individual to continue feeding on sadza only. What the BAZ has done is that they have continuously fed the people of Zimbabwe with the same diet to a body that is suffering from kwashiokor of information.

Mr. Speaker, I agree with Hon. Chikwinya that these licences need to be revoked and the BAZ has to be reconstituted. One thing that surprises me more is - even our colleagues in ZANU PF know it very well that what they have done does not work. I will give you a vivid example. We have four radio stations in Zimbabwe and of all the four, they have been given a directive to play ZANU PF campaign songs or ZANU PF jingles every fifteen minutes or so and especially before the main news bulletins. Having done that, ZANU PF knows fully well, it has not added any iorta of support to its party. That is why they have even gone on to replicate the number of radio stations which again are going to continuously play those jingles on a much more frequency. This is not going to work and it does not assist them in any way. It does not help you and it does not help the people of Zimbabwe.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I am of the opinion that we should attract real divergence in broadcasting stations in Zimbabwe. We have people who are already broadcasting. This would have been our first port of call. We should have opened our airwaves to Zimbabweans who are broadcasting from outside Zimbabwe. This would have been an opportunity for us to bring in SW Radio, VoP and Studio 7 because they already have an audience, they already have a valid listener-ship. Members of Parliament here - I know when we are hanging out there and seven o'clock comes, everyone disappears into his car to listen to Studio 7. That is a sign of what people of Zimbabwe want. I know here it is keeping up appearances, you have to portray a certain image that shows you are very patriotic, but I also know what you do in private.

Mr. Speaker, we cannot let this situation continue. The people of Zimbabwe cannot be subjected to one source of news. I was reading about these two radio stations that were given licences, in one of their submissions they said, they are going to use ZBC news on their radio stations. So what it means is that the opportunity that Zimbabweans are clamouring for is being denied before they even start broadcasting because it is just a matter of regurgitation of ZBC news on these two new radio stations. Zimpapers is known to parrot the same ZBC news. That in itself makes our nation poorer in terms of knowledge.

Information is a powerful tool and we should empower the people of Zimbabwe by exposing them to various opinions so that they are able to make their own independent decisions. I want to agree with Hon. Chikwinya that we should not let it pass, we should rather see the revocation of those licences and see a new issuing of licences to genuine people who have shown commitment by investing from afar. We should attract those people who are outside to come and create employment here, not only to broadcast from home but also to give them an opportunity to practice from home. We should use State institutions to attract Zimbabweans who are outside rather than to continuously push Zimbabwe professionals out there when they can practice from home.

I want to thank Hon. Chikwinya for bringing this topical and very pertinent topic before this House and I fully support and agree with him.

MR. MATONGA: I would like to thank Hon. Chikwinya for bringing this motion to the House about Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe on the issuance of licences. I think the critical issue we have to understand is our history, as to where we come from, that there was one voice, mainly in the print media and broadcasting which had been viewed to be either biased towards a certain political party. The coming in of the GPA has enabled hon. members to debate pertinent issues.

I would not debate as to whether these new players are politically biased, remember this is a politically driven process. Let us argue on the issue of content. The process has been followed, rules have been followed, the setting up of the Broadcasting Authority is now history. The process actually took about 18 months for these players to start broadcasting because of the wider consultations that have taken place. Obviously as political players, you question things, you also want to bring in influence to a process. I think our argument again is if these two players are biased towards a political partychitiudzaiwo kuti dzamaida dzacho dziri biased towards imimi ndedzipi. Taurai kuti makasiya dzedu idzi dzine vanhu vedu vana nhingi nanhingi. I have not heard that may be I came in a bit late.

It is not true again that our airwaves are dominated by ZBC. We have got VOP, Studio 7 and DSTV. DSTV has got more than 100 radio stations. It is a question of whether you know how to tune to any radio station. You can listen to any radio station in the comfort of your home - [AN HON. MEMBER: Ko varikumusha?] - It is not just ZBC, you have got Botswana television and SABC. You have got more than 30 news channels on DSTV, freely available in the country. If you buy your own decoder, you tune to any channel.

The question is vapiwa malicence aya, surely vakangonangana nepropaganda chete which means that political party has to fund your advertisements. I do not think those people are stupid enough to do that. If you look at SABC it is a government owned institution, it has got more than 18 community radio stations including commercial and private radio stations. The other player is E-TV, it is owned, controlled by a former ANC Member of Parliament who also controls 7O2 and other media houses. So are we saying that SABC and E-TV - our argument is it is ANC that is running those media houses. I think our players, those two media houses that were issued with licences, they have to learn from outside experiences that you are a commercial entity, you are there to make money. So that should be our argument that are they taking the views for example if you go to UK Mr. Speaker, Sir, BBC and I TV, BBC is government owned like ZBC or SABC, E-TV and other stations, they have got all the licences for province radio stations, but because they are a commercial entity, they also get their news from government source. For those who have stayed in UK they know that Independent news comes from government institution not from a private entity. I am talking from experience.

If you look at print media, even in UK you have got two main players, these are the Mirror, the Guardian; those are considered to be Labour biased newspapers and the Times, the Sun are considered to be pro Conservatives. The issue is on content - coming closer to home, I am happy to see hon. members from the other side of the House with the Herald and H-Metro. There has been a great improvement in terms of their content presentation. That is what I want even as a former Deputy Minister that a newspaper should not be very partisan. What was there was that our newspapers were polarised but now there is competition which is health. I would like to congratulate BAZ for a job well done. If we look at individuals, Susan Makore, the name has come up over and over again, is she qualified, I hope she recused herself but she has got a Masters in Media. Her relative is on the other side Senator Makore saka toti hauchaite issue licencesThis process is bringing us together as Zimbabweans. Ivo vakapiwa malicences I would like to urge them to be professional in their approach. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

MR. F.M. SIBANDA: I would like to thank Hon. Chikwinya for moving the motion and Hon. Mudzuri for seconding. I stand up to give a historical perspective of radio stations vis-a-vis newspapers. I am sorry that most of our former speakers have digressed and spoken of print media. We are here to talk about the electronic media, so I think I have to give the correct perspective on that.

During the war, in Zambia we operated a Voice of Zimbabwe Radio by Japhet Masuku and the other Masuku brother and also Gwakhuba Ndlovu. In Mozambique, vividly, I know Hamadziripi Henry, Rugare Gumbo, who is now the Spokesperson of ZANU PF, Grey Tichatonga and Charles Ndlovu now known as Webster Shamu. The reason that these two liberation movements formed parallel radio stations in the liberation centers is the same today why we have Voice of the People, Studio 7 and SW Radio in Africa.

It will be naive for people at this hour, after 31 years of independence, to form external radio stations.

We formed these radio stations in Zambia and Mozambique because we knew very well that the Rhodesian Front did not open up space for people to talk about their inspirations. We knew very well that the Rhodesian Front did not like ZAPU and ZANU to speak about liberation philosophy; China and Russia. So it was very impossible for people like Hon. Mnangagwa, people like, Matshalaga, people like J. Z. Moyo to speak using Rhodesian Front's Rhodesian Broadcasting Corporation. The reason is that the air waves were stifled, there was no freedom of association.

The pillars of democracy are as follows: freedom of expression and speech, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of conscience and so forth and if any country deprives its citizenry of freedom of expression, it means people will have what they call parallel radio stations.

To date, I would like to congratulate Dynamos on having won two important trophies in this country. Why am I saying so? It will be naive to tell people to come and watch Dynamos playing East Reserve Site. It becomes competitive if Dynamos plays versus CAPS or Highlanders. In this scenario, there is no competition. Zimpapers is an offspring of the status quo. AB Communications, is an offspring of the status quo, so there is no competition whatsoever that could be realised by the people because ideologically and physiologically, they breath the same air and they have nothing to offer you. So, we only complain where we are prejudiced.

I want to commend Hon. Hlongwane where he said why should people watch and then complain after the process is complete? Those who have done law, there is what we call locus standi. We only approach the courts when we know we have been prejudiced because you do not approach the court where you perceive to prejudice.

We have discovered that the process is flawed, hence we are making a fundamental complaint to this august House. So, the locus standi is a critical principal in law. You do no wait to suffer the consequences and suffer the injuries and approach the courts.

There has been media. Media is a powerful force. It is the fourth arm of any Government. Although it is not pronounced, there is the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature and the fourth silent one is the media, hence it has to be taken seriously. It is like if you give a friend a gun, you are safe but if you give an enemy an eating fork, you are in trouble, so when you give the media licences, to people who are gutter by nature, the people we call gutter press, you invite what we call genocide.

If you look into the history of media in Africa and Zimbabwe vis-a-vis the motion at hand. In Rwanda and Burundi, millions of people, Tutsis versus Hutus died because of the insinuation of the radio. Radio is very powerful. A minute it is in Muzarabani, a minute it is in Beit-Bridge. So, if you give licences to mad people, radio is the source of genocide. Rwanda and Burundi are recent examples of how radios have been misused.

In 1983 to 1987, ZBC had a lot of hate speech where even the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo fled Zimbabwe to serve his life. ZBC were singing songs of hate, denigrating Joshua Nkomo and what did we reap at the end, 20 000 people from Matabeleland and Midlands were butchered by the 5th Brigade.

Radio is an enemy if it is in wrong hands. Therefore we have to understand how two radio applicants were given. In 2000, Murambatsvina, the disaster that has never healed Harare and Bulawayo and other issues. ZBC was filming when people's houses were being destroyed. It would come and take pictures. I remember Chinx mourned when his house was bulldozed.

Instead of giving a positive side, they were ferrying the soldiers and police to demolish people's homes. So, the radio is an arsenal depending on where it has been taken. From 1970 to 1980, Rhodesia Broadcasting Corporation fanned warpath in Rhodesia. People known as terrorists were being flown by helicopters and the Rhodesia Broadcasting Corporation would picture them and broadcast to children under 18 and up to today, those pictures are still inherent to our people. Hate speech, the violence that we have started way back as 1965 where the radio, visual and audio is very powerful when it comes to destroying people, hence it has to be given to people who are professional, non violent, non partisan, otherwise we might suffer in the long run.

I would need now to talk about Umsakazo. Umsakazo in English is broadcasting. In Bulawayo we thought the first priority of BAZ was to issue licences of Community Radio Stations. Community Radio Stations are central to development. They encourage people to be healthy, that is curative. These diseases, the water borne diseases, so Bulawayo has got two community radio station only awaiting for licencing, but alas, the application fee is too exorbitant, - US$70 000 or US$700 000, I am not very sure but it is too exorbitant for anybody who wants to be creative. The application fee is prohibitive, so, these fees that are being sought for, I think very few people will apply. The elite, those who have hands in diamonds, those who could have got a lot of money in Gono's era, are the same people who are going to apply and that is very undemocratic.

We have to understand two fundamental issues, that radio stations are very important, they are easy and they are not very expensive. Somebody was talking about DSTV where you have to pay. That to me is very absurd. We want our people to be free to access information without bias. Newspapers and radio stations should be people centered because if we do not take heed of what I am saying here, we are going to cause suffering and genocide because if we give a spoon to an enemy that spoon becomes very dangerous. So, let us be very careful. I stand to support the mover of the motion that these radio stations that have been given licences irregularly, should be withdrawn forthwith and follow the laws according to section 19 of the Global Political Agreement which says that we should liberalise airwaves so that we attain democracy and independence. I thank you.

MS. MANGAMI : Thank you Mr. Speaker. First of all I want to thank Hon. Chikwinya for the motion, of which I want to add my voice to this important motion. It is important that we take note of these various boards that are formed in various ministries, of which this one is also an important body. If I am not mistaken, in various ministries, there are boards as well which have got their own selection criteria. Their criteria is determined by the issues which we would want presented. I also think the same criteria was used to look at the same board that is in question.

It is important to note that whenever there is a selection criteria, some meet demands and some do not meet demands, but it is not an end on its own as there are still opportunities. With this same view, I am of the idea that the doors are not yet closed and when an examination is set some fail, some pass and those that have failed should not actually lose hope but should continue so that they meet the criteria. It is like you are tendering and when you fail, it means that you have to make corrections and attempt to fix the situation. Even if you want a stand for a house, you are also exposed to a certain criteria where some fail and some pass. I am also grieved by other licences in other ministries because there is a certain criteria which has been set. I was going to agree with you if you were going to say it is already closed. A time will come when they are open and those who have failed will also attempt.

In addition to that, I thought that you were going to say that the media that we have, be it print or the broadcasting ones, it is important that they cover women as well so that at least it is balanced and they are gender sensitive. That is usually the anomaly on the part of all the print and the rest of the media, but in terms of the selection, I would not say that if one fails, it becomes an issue but if one fails it is important to try again and meet the criteria. Actually, I will give an example of the Cotton Association Board where there is a token. The token is there in order for the administration to take place and give to those that fail and if one fails and next time that person tries, it becomes an issue and the board will fail to administer its mandate. If we are going to look at personalities in the board, I do not think that it is important, but the material that they submit. The process that they did; was it a flawed one or it was something that was credible? That is what we can look at rather than looking at personalities because if we look at personalities, we can start by looking at personalities in this Parliament to say are we worth what we are to be honourable members, so that at least there is a screening criteria.

I also think that if we are going to start looking at such things and we are going to select a criteria, when already a body has been chosen, it becomes difficult. It also goes to the issue of divergence in terms of the issues that are published. I think at one time the print media and the broadcasting authorities have also done what they call an assessment, to see if they are news-worthy from people and I have seen it published in papers to say this paper is number one. At times they drop to number three or number four. I can even question the criteria, how they actually rate themselves to say that they are number one. To whom? They may have a list to say so many have been purchased, maybe they have been purchased to become toilet paper and they say we are number one.

What I am trying to say is that being news worthy cannot be determined in a very short space of time. It is important that we actually encourage the board, if it has closed, to open up next time for various players to also tender and then maybe they will meet the criteria that is required for them to participate in the media issue.

Mr. Speaker, may I conclude by actually looking at the issue which the hon. member has looked at going up to the motion where he is calling for the immediate withdrawal of licences, to say we cannot withdraw what we already have, instead we can add if there is room. There is no need to withdraw licences issued to Zimbabweans. There are other people from outside the country who may even win those tenders. Why not a Zimbabwean? Zimbabweans, if they meet the criteria, should all be accommodated. Thank you.

MR. TSHUMA: Thank you very much honourable Speaker for the opportunity. I associate myself with the motion by my brother Hon. Chikwinya. I wanted to mention that I was very inspired and I am happy that Hon. Hlongwane has come back into the House. I suspected at one moment, that his jaw was going to dislocate, when he argued strenuously on something that I am convinced he does not believe in. It is very important when we discuss an issue to do with the media. It remains incomplete if we did not address the normative framework within which the media operate. I am talking about the society of those who act in the media fraternity. When you attend to normative matters in the media world, you are basically speaking of a broad spectrum that I can conceptualise as running from one point where we have on one end, authoritarian approach and on the other end, we have libertarian approaches.

On the authoritarian approach, we have those who believe extraneously like my brother demonstrated during his debate and that media houses are there as propagators, educators and mobilisers. On the other, the libertarian approach, are those who believe media houses are business entities that compete in a free market. During that competition, media houses do not merely propagate, educate and mobilise, they are well articulated concerns that they pursue. One is to act as watchdogs against Government and co-operations, act as education and information forums.

We are aware that at independence, the then black Government realised that the white settlers had used the public media to further capitalists interest. This is why in 1980, we set up the Zimbabwe Mass Media Trust. The broad objective of this trust was to transform the management, planning and operations of the media. The extensive view was to transform the then public media into something that was mass orientated and nationally accessible to every Zimbabwean as well as non-partisan in its content. Unfortunately, this Trust failed dismally largely because of state paternalism.

What I mean by state paternalism is well demonstrated in a book by a former Chief Executive Officer at Zimpapers, Mr. Elias Rusike in a book called Politics of Mass Media, he articulates very well the way in which the Ministry of Information at that time, which has not changed, had this hegemonic and octopus grip over, not just the Media Trust, but Zimpapers and its management. He articulates how the Ministry of Information was closely related in hiring and firing editors. It articulates very well how editors at Zimpapers who were disloyal to instructions from that office were fired at the instance of the Ministry.

That book also states clearly how, as Chief Executive Officer, the late Mr. Rusike had endless journeys to the Ministry of information to explain matters like why the President's story on this or that did not appear on the first page. As I said in the beginning that I am very inspired by my brother here, who had lots of eulogies on ....

MR. SPEAKER: Honourable brother!

MR. TSHUMA: He is an honourable brother, I agree with you. I was just referring to my honourable brother that Zimpapers goes around independent without influence whatsoever. I just want to refer to two instances that illustrate the partisan nature of Zimpapers in its history. We had, during the Gukurahundi era, when the then Government deployed thugs in Matabeleland, dressed in military garb who went around butchering people and because Zimpapers was compromising its editorial policy, they could not criticise that.

Once again, in 1995 during the ESAP era, Zimpapers failed to analyse critically the impact of this economic and social structural adjustment programme. They could not articulate how children and women and other sectors were being affected and all this goes down to the influence of the Ministry deeping its own hand into the editorial policy of e-e-e .... - [MR. HLONGWANE: That is a classroom argument.] - I am sure that my honourable brother understands now that he talks about the classrooms that he talks about.

I am just reminded of a certain idea that does a lot of rounds in these classrooms, he was in one for a long time and he is still there. It is an idea by a Germany Philosopher, Habermas in which he talks about a certain sphere that exists between the private and public sector. This sphere, Habermas calls the Public Sphere, is essentially space where ordinary citizens meet to discuss topical issues of the day. In this sphere, they meet to hold the Government to account, criticize and bring to the surface issues of corruption and other omissions not just by the Government but other entities too.

What BAZ has done to a group of people who are aligned to a sector of our society has serious impacts for this sphere that I am talking about. I am actually thinking of the way that news is constructed in the media houses here. News making is not an objective value free process. It actually builds off the imprints of the experiences of those who make the news, the journalists. The journalists' personal experiences, their history, their upbringing, the social and economic gets reflected in the news that they produce.

Licences are only given to people of a particular persuasion. This has the effect of changing this very public sphere into a conveyor belt of certain messages from one order straight to the audiences. This creates unnecessary hegemonies and ideological discrepancies that are very destructive to our values of freedom, equality and social justice. What I wanted to mention at this point, as a way of concluding my very short advice to my honourable brother is that it will be very important to nature this public sphere by affording licences to people of various diverse experiences. This will allow competition of ideas in the market called the

public sphere. With these few words, I commend the honourable's motion to the House.

*MRS. ZINYEMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would like to thank Hon. Chikwinya for bringing this motion in this august House. I would like to say that the majority of the issues have already been dealt with. Board members of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe are appointed by the President on the recommendations of the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders which is chaired by our Hon. Speaker here present with the leadership of the three political parties in Government making up the membership of the SROC. I do not know where the confusion is because the President works from a list which would have come from the SROC. My question is, how do we come up with the list in the SROC when it is wrong?

Secondly Mr. Speaker, I heard previous speakers making reference to certain retired members of the army and someone who once worked for ZBC do not qualify. Where will we find experienced people who have not worked elsewhere before? As Zimbabweans, they have every right to be interviewed and successfully occupy the position regardless of their army background. This is only fair to all Zimbabweans. In the Parliament, we have former Rhodesian forces here in this august House, no-one barred them from being in this House because of their military background.

Lastly, when we are contributing to a motion, we should advocate for non violence and hate speech as advocated by the three principals namely the President, the Prime Minister and DPM Mutambara at the Rainbow Towers hotel. It is this House that spews and fan violence and hate speech. By so doing, they are re-opening the old wounds. They want people to be on each other's throats. In our constituencies we should not fan violence and hate speech. After every sitting, we take with us Hansards to our constituencies so that they can read. They read about wars that took place time immemorial, the Gukurahundi atrocities, Murambatsvina, that is not constructive to our nation. We should not mislead ourselves by condemning violence when it is being started here...-[MR MATIBE: Gogo] - I do not want to be addressed as gogohamuna gogo munoumu.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order. The hon. member who said to the hon. member gogo, can you stand up and withdraw that, we do not have gogos here.

MR. MATIBE: Mr. Speaker, I withdraw.

*MRS. ZINYEMBA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I pray that you as our leader should guide us in our debates. We are talking about having peaceful elections but how do we have peaceful elections when here in Parliament there is hate speech. Let us have constructive debates. If the Principals signed for reconciliation and violence free elections, let us walk the talk. We are belittling our leaders by the way we debate in this House. My appeal to you Mr Speaker is that in your capacity as the Presiding Officer of this House, guide us to debate constructively to build this nation. I thank you.

*MR. MADZIMURE: First part of speech not recorded due to technical fault.

MR. SPEAKER: I am advised that the interpretation machines are down and therefore you are requested to speak in English.

MR. MANGWANA: I think it is unconstitutional to ask members to speak in a language determined by Parliament.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, I did not recognise you. I am really embarrassed that a senior member like yourself do not understand how Parliament operates. You stand up and then you are recognised and once you are recognised, you raise your point of order. In any case, that will be unprecedented that you raise a point of order on what the Speaker has made as a ruling and again, that is out of order.

We are aware that we have got three national languages and that is a fact, that is not contested. The reality is that what we want is to be able to capture what is debated here. If a member so wishes to continue debating in that vernacular language, we do not want tomorrow to be accused of not capturing that particular part of the speech. We are merely assisting the debate and therefore, those who are willing to get what they are saying captured properly are therefore accordingly advised to switch to English. If you feel hard done about that, you are free to continue in the language that you are comfortable with. Hon. member, continue.

MR. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I was saying that I was really surprised to see people getting to a point of frothing, trying to argue that what we are doing is very good and peculiar after we have been independent for 31 years. This is exactly the reason why we are where we are in terms of development . This is the reason why we are still behaving like stone aged people who think that problems can be solved through fighting. The majority of the members think that their existence can only be guaranteed by the radio and television. It is also true that quite a number of people, we hear what they want to say through radio and television.

Mr. Speaker Sir, you cannot explain to anyone in this world that Zimbabwe, 31 years after independence still has one national broadcaster which is being abused. It is also a shame that as Zimbabweans, we are debating the issue of two licences, after 31 years. It is a shame that after people had realised that the manner in which the licences were issued was fraudulent and the board itself, its constitution was fraudulent and this was raised before the board went to the extent of issuing the licences. People are trying to defend that. This ceases to be a Constitutional matter or a legal matter because the arguments being raised are purely based on political lines. This is evidenced from the statistics that Hon. Chikwinya gave to this House. The statistics show that we do not have a national radio, we do not have a national television, what we have is a party radio and a party television. This is going again to be augmented by the two licences. We all know what Zimpapers is. If you get the Herald, you can tell what to expect. The issuance of the licences was purely on political lines and they were issued as a smokescreen to hoodwink the world especially SADC to believe that we are opening the airwaves. It is also based on the requirement in the GPA which we have failed to fulfill. Mr. Speaker, it is a shame that we can talk of outside radio stations having been licenced when we cannot licence our own people. We cannot talk of SABC to say it is licenced here in Zimbabwe when we cannot give those licences to our own people. This was evidenced from one of the committee members, one hon. member who sits in the Information and Publicity Committee confirming that we have issued licences to foreigners, denying the locals the opportunity to create employment.

It was not going to be possible for every Zimbabwean to be given a licence, if the media had the power to kill us, we could have been dead by now. We are fortunate that God is on our side, that is why we are still around. Zimbabweans are fully aware that those licences which were issued were done in an illegal manner by an illegal board.....

MR. HLONGWANE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

MR. HLONGWANE: The hon. member is doing injustice to the truth and is speaking in broken language.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, there is not point of order.

MR. MADZIMURE: I am glad I am getting this from a very well trained CIO who was masquerading as a journalist and that was purely his job to listen and manipulate peoples' speeches and that is exactly the same thing he is doing today.

Mr. Speaker, the issue of opening the airwaves is important for the development of this country. When we do so, we have to be sincere to ourselves and say are we doing this for the good of the people of Zimbabwe. My own assessment is that what we are doing as Zimbabweans, especially the authorities, is to continuously hold our people to ransom. The issue of allowing people to listen to alternative voices is a fundamental right and it is important that we accord our people that opportunity. We have experienced broadcasters who applied for licences but the writing was on the wall, the day the whole process started. People knew exactly the people who were going to get the licences. If we have got no problem in listening to alternative voices, I think we will have the opportunity to correct that.

Then the issue of the 14 other licences which have not been issued, Mr. Speaker, the trend will be the same and such that we expect a peasant person, a poor Zimbabwean to fork out US$50 for a licence. We know that people will get the money from diamonds, those are the people who are going to get community radio licences. The licences are going to be issued, and they will be issued before the elections and the same outcry will be heard.

Mr. Speaker, my wish is for only those people who are going to be issued with licences to be responsible because the majority of the people, especially in the African continent, have abused those facilities to push for people to commit genocide. This is exactly what the ZBC is doing, it is only that Zimbabweans are completely different from other societies....

MR. HLONGWANE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. The member is alleging that ZBC is advocating for genocide and I do not think that is true. I would be satisfied with a retraction of that kind of statement in the absence of facts.

MR. SPEAKER: My understanding is that the member likened the current situation to the Rwanda genocide and made a remark that it can lead to the same, and therefore I do not see where the conclusion that you have made that he has said ZBC is advocating for genocide I thought he said the danger of having irresponsible broadcasting can lead to a scenario like in Rwanda. Therefore hon. member, you can continue.

MR. MADZIMURE: Mr. Speaker, I think this is an arena which we must use to educate each other and to remind each other. I refer to myself. I was misquoted and the news were flighted for five continuous days, three times a day, saying I have been advocating for the same style of removing the government as was done in Libya and I wrote a letter to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and they apologised and came to my house but the consequences were suffered.

The following week, there was war in Chitungwiza because of that and the following week that is why that meeting was called by the Principals at the HICC. So, I am speaking from experience. I could have been killed myself for that reason; I am speaking about myself individually and my family could have been at a loss.

MR. HLONGWANE: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

MR. MADZIMURE: Mr. Speaker I do not think it is a debate between me and Mr. Hlongwane.

MR. HLONGWANE: On a point of order, the debater Mr. Speaker, has confirmed my original point that he alleged that ZBC in the manner in which it is practicing, it will lead to genocide. I do not think there is any empirical evidence to that kind of a dangerous claim. It must not be allowed to continue existing in this august House Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Hon. member, I do not have to explain my decision and my ruling still stands as stated earlier on.

MR. MADZIMURE: Mr. Speaker, my concern is that as respectable people who hold one of the highest offices in this country and the fact that the people who elected us to this House expect us to behave in a manner that does not betray their trust. I am simply alluding to what people out there are saying. They are powerless to demonstrate against the issuance of such licences. They are powerless to demonstrate against the continued employment of an illegal board but as members, I plead it is better for us to accept the fact that we are here to educate each other, to debate issues honestly and where possible correct our own mistakes and I think it is still within our hands to do so.

Mr. Speaker, I think for us to develop we must allow the airwaves to be opened up. We argued and argued when DSTV wanted to open an office, their headquarters in Zimbabwe. We lost the opportunity and today all of us here subscribe to DSTV. We should have had a head office here in Zimbabwe.

Mr. Speaker, I think it is irresponsible for anyone to support the decision to spurn, to refuse an opportunity to create jobs for our own people. We must take a lead as Zimbabwe. We cannot keep on following. As Zimbabwe, the newspapers that we are talking about and that we now have a lot of private newspapers; when did we start having these newspapers? Because of a requirement being forced by the outsiders? The inclusion of that clause in the GPA that you must open up the airwaves?

Daily News was bombed and it only came into existence some few months ago. We had no private media; imagine a country like Zimbabwe where we claim that the literacy rate is the highest in Africa depending on one newspaper and that is ...

MR. HLONGWANE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order, hon. member before you proceed, can you switch off your microphone. I trust that you are not abusing the privilege that you have. That is why I am saying that I trust that you are not doing so. I will allow you to make your Point of Order but if I realise that again, what we are saying is just buying time, then I will not give you the next opportunity.

MR. HLONGWANE: Mr. Speaker, I crave your indulgence. Private media in Zimbabwe is not simply a product of the GPA. We have had the multiplicity of media very well before and therefore it is a false claim Mr. Speaker. It is a false claim. It is false, it is Parliament now ...

MR. SPEAKER: Order, hon. member, order!

MR. HLONGWANE: It is Parliament, we must tell the truth -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

MR. SPEAKER: Order, hon. members, Order Hon. Hlongwane. Can you make your point of order please, I did not hear you.

MR. HLONGWANE: The debater of the motion is alleging that independent media in Zimbabwe has only been possible on the basis of the GPA. May I bring the point to attention Mr. Speaker that we have had independent newspapers in this country since time immemorial and I can give example of the Independent since 1997 and the Financial Gazette since the early 1990s. It is not a correct claim, it is a falsehood Mr. Speaker, to make such a generic statement. Thank you Sir.

MR. SPEAKER: Hon. member, I am not sure which part of the Standing Order that rules that the debater has violated to the extent that you raise a point of order. There is no such Standing Order that makes reference to what you are saying.

MR. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I am glad that some of what some people may call my false accusations have been proved to be correct because from 1980 up to 1996 we did not have a single independent newspaper, weekly for that matter. It only started as Hon. Hlongwane has said that it started in 1996 but we did not have a daily newspaper. It is true that we only had one daily newspaper, The Herald, all Zimbabweans waking up to read only one newspaper and debate one newspaper? Mr. Speaker, a lot of my accusations were proved to be correct because from 1980 up to 1996 we did not have a single independent newspaper; weekly for that matter. It only started in - as my learned Hon. Hlongwane has said in 1996, and we did not have a single daily newspaper before. I said we only had the Herald and it is true; we did not have any other day newspaper. All Zimbabweans waking up to read one newspaper and debate one newspaper.

Mr. Speaker, a lot of authoritarian regimes, actually thrive in making sure that people believe like mombe where we have kamwana kane 6 yearsheading cattle vanabhusvumani vane mazinyanga because vanabhusvumani cannot stop and talk amongst themselves and say let us toss this kid and free we are; that is exactly the same situation we are trying to perpetuate Zimbabweans, where we listen to one voice and one voice only. Fortunately Mr. Speaker, we now have the internet, we can google even when you are seated in your hut in Mudzi there, you can google; read the news and thank God Al-Jazeera is here because the technology, to block Al-Jazeera is not available and will never be available. We also have DSTV, I subscribe; I can listen; watch the news whether you like it or not.

So the people of Zimbabwe are liberated. The issue of Studio 7; every evening including Hon. Bhasikiti - they scramble for space to be heard in Studio 7, no one of my hon. members on the other side can claim that he does not listen to Studio 7. Whenever they are confronted by their factions in their constituencies, their only saviour is Studio 7. That is where they can run to and cry, so Mr Speaker if they are asked to subscribe; they will subscribe to Studio 7. I completely, whole heartedly support the motion by Hon. Chikwinya.

MR. BHASIKITI: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I want to start by saying that it is a shame that we have a member who comes to Parliament to mourn over the issuing of licences to two Zimbabweans when we need more Zimbabweans to be issued more licences; simply on the basis that his colleagues could not clinch the licences. This is shameful and disrespectful and abuse of this House by Hon. Chikwinya.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to also address the issue that the BAZ is not properly constituted. I thought we could only get this outcry from hon. Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara whose members were not equitably distributed into BAZ, but for MDC T members to come and cry that BAZ is not properly constituted, is ridiculous because this was constituted on the basis of one to one and agreeing in putting members to the board, but if MDC T has now been deserted by its members, they should not cry in this House that the members it seconded to BAZ have now deserted you. I think you will not present a sound argument. I know that members from Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara's party are just few and despite that, I have heard that the two political parties who shared did it for the interest of the country. So I think the argument that BAZ is not properly constituted is baseless and should just be disregarded with the contempt it deserves.

I also want to address the issue of naivety in coming to Parliament to address the member's personal concerns where his own company fails to clinch the deal. Some have already indicated that if the hon. member was genuine in saying we needed to see more people applying and we wanted the adjudicating board to be constituted with such people; that could have been brought up before the final adjudication was done. What is clear here Mr. Speaker is that the member is mourning the loss of tender by his cronies and he wants to abuse this House to address that issue, I think this motion should just be withdrawn for its lack of credibility and contempt it is bringing to us and our integrity to fight the hon. member's war. That is not the business of this House -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order, can you switch off your microphone. Hon. member, it is not for you to decide the business of this House. There is a leadership in this institution who decide what is to be debated and the issue that we think that they help move this country forward. Therefore do not speak as if you have the authority to determine, otherwise you will confuse the listeners as if you are the authority. There are authorities who run the agenda of the House and also the relevant programmes, so please refrain from referring to that.

MR. BHASIKITI: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I also want to agree on the second point raised by Hon. Madzimure. Hon. Madzimure raised a very important point when he said that those who were given the licences should be responsible; that is a very valid point and one of the measures in which we see that those given licences are responsible is that they try to confine themselves to national interest. We have a country that is rich, with good history; born out of a protracted armed struggle whose objective and principles should not be abused by anyone, and it will be irresponsible even to give or issue licences to companies which are sponsored by Western countries for the sole interest of trying to twist the history of our country and influence our people through proxy methods. Now the British Prime Minister, Mr. Cameron is on record saying those who come seeking for aid should dance and sing the song of homosexuality, promote gays. If we do not have responsible people getting licences, we are in danger of people who will get this cheap money to come and propagate this foreign and un-Godly culture of homosexuality. To this, we have evidence that the three leaders of the GPA addressed a women's conference in Chitungwiza and attacked the gays and homosexuality ...

MR. MADZIMURE: On a point of order, the motion is very clear and when a member tries to smuggle his own sorrows and pains of having been abused to this motion. I do not think it is fair.

MR. SPEAKER: Hon. Madzimure, there is no point of order. Hon. member, continue.

MR. BHASIKITI: I was just explaining that our leaders in the GPA addressed a women's conference in Chitungwiza castigating and distancing themselves from gays and the promotion of same sex marriages. We want to see those principles being upheld. To those who go and seek money from Britain, like the Prime Minister Tsvangirai did, you will always hear them after meeting Cameron that there is a change of heart. So, it is dangerous to give people licences who might change overnight and betray the nation.

I also want to make an important correction to the misconception that some of the members in the BAZ are former army generals but even before I labour to speak. As you approach our ZBC office, you will see that there is a camp adjacent, before the entrance where our ZNA will be manning and providing the security of our broadcasting institution. What it means is that we guard jealously any intrusion by foreigners and invaders who would want to get into the premises and begin broadcasting their own foreign deceitful ideas. So the Army is there to protect our interests at ZBC.

Also in the process if we have generals who stick to the principles of the liberation and safeguarding the security of our nation in the board, then we have the safest and most credible Board to run the affairs of the Broadcasting Authority. What I also want to remind the same honourable members who are now crying that some of the BAZ who came up on the MDC ticket are now serving national interest, which they perceive to be ZANU PF, is that we should not forget that in this nation, this nation was united under the principles of one party ZANU PF.

The principles of the revolution, the motto that Zimbabwe belongs to Zimbabweans but we only saw disintegrations when we had taken the land from the white farmers, that is when we began to have divisions. Even the mover of this motion was a member of the party ZANU PF which he now purports to attack including the leader of his party Prime Minister Tsvangirai was ZANU PF. It is only after we had taken the land from the whites that the whites sought a plan to regain the land and took people for use to achieve their purpose. Overally, as Zimbabweans we are united on issues which benefits our nation but we only get divided when the enemy comes with money in our midst and then take some of our colleagues and use them for their own purpose.

Mr. Speaker, it should be known that ZANU PF opened up the democratic path for Zimbabwe in 1980 unlike the imperialists who had colonized it and made sure our voice was not heard. We allowed even their voice to be heard in our Government, the first Government. Ian Smith had Ministers in this Government and they could talk freely. Newspapers were there, running different ideas, just as the Government of Zimbabwe licenced CNN and BBC to broadcast in this country. The list has been given by Hon. Hlongwane of Al-Jazeera and other independent media. At this point, we are not talking about whether or not the airwaves and print-media are democratised, no but it is a reality. We cannot join Hon. Chikwinya in mourning the loss of tender by his cronies. I want to join Hon. Madzimure in noting that Hon. Chikwinya is out of order and has abused this House. This motion should be treated with the contempt it deserves, it does not address Zimbabwean issues, Hon. Chikwinya's abusing this august House, the motion should be rejected.

+MS. D. SIBANDA: Speech not recorded due to technical fault.

* MR. MAZIKANA: First part of speech not recorded due to technical fault.

MR. SPEAKER: I earlier on indicated that the interpretation machine is not working and I am advised that they are not capturing anything. As I said, it is up to an individual whether he wants what they say recorded or not. It is your choice because the three languages are national languages therefore, hon. member, especially the hon. member speaking, I know that that you do not have difficulties with the Queen's language, if you want your points recorded, please you are accordingly advised.

MR. MAZIKANA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I rise also to contribute to this motion which is quite exciting but I also urge hon. members to look at how important the media is in today's world. Especially, if you allow me to take hon. members back to the recent developments in UK, news of the world. Just imagine how destructive news of the world was to families, to politicians and to individuals. Just imagine the amount of time, the amount of money that the British House of Commons put in investigating the wickedness of news of the world and how it had ripple effects even in Australia, even in USA. If we open up the doors to everyone to operate a media house - I would have thought the hon. mover of the motion would have been more satisfied with the pace at which BAZ has moved so far and rather urge for one or two more broadcasters to be given licences. Mr. Speaker Sir, CNN, BBC have been given licences to operate in our countries and when two Zimbabwean owned firms are accorded that opportunity, there is an uproar in this House. Why, instead of saying congratulations this is a step in the right direction. We stand up here and start pointing fingers to why is Mahoso there, why is Susan Makore there, why is retired Zimbabwean General there. It is coming from a mouth of an honourable member, elected by the people of Zimbabwe. In other countries, we will be saying shame on you. You find that we sit here and attach Zimpapers, Zimpapers is Government owned paper. Just give me a country in the world where Government does not own a media house, go to USA, UK, the countries you emulate as the most democratic countries, do they not have Government owned papers? CNN belongs to which country, BBC belongs to which country? We pray for wisdom. Like King Solomon, he says, "Lord if there is anything that you would give me, it is wisdom". So we pray for wisdom.

Before I take my seat Mr. Speaker, just imagine if we allow every person to operate, any paper, if tomorrow you wake up a paper is delivered at your door step and it says the Right Honourable Prime Minister of Zimbabwe has married seven wives …..

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order, hon. member, I do not think that is appropriate and respectful to make reference to the Right Honourable Prime Minister as you do your debate. It is the culture of this House that we respect people in high authority in this land. As much as we respect and try to avoid to make reference to the Head of State, let us also do the same in the spirit of the Global Political Agreement. I expect you not to make reference to that and withdraw that statement

MR. MAZIKANA: I withdraw. Thank you Mr. Speaker, that is the danger of allowing media houses to sprout here and there because tomorrow you work up with information that is destructive. Mr. Speaker, in my constituency, people say the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon Lovemore Moyo vave kunzi vakapona murutsva...

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order, hon. member, I am interested to appreciate what you are saying, can you put it in English.

MR. MAZIKANA: In English, it means one who has come out of a crocodile's mouth - [Laughter] - To them honourable Speaker, it is a sign of survival, fighting spirit. What I am saying in short is, hon. members, we definitely need to ignore the call that this is illegal. It is not illegal unless we are saying our SROC is irrelevant. Are we saying our SROC is irrelevant to the extent that it allows the extend that it allowed the passage, or allow the appointment to go ahead, of the Board of Directors and had no input at all? I rest my case, thank you Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order, thank you very much. May I correct this notion that the SROC had nothing to do with BAZ. We had nothing to do with that. It must be put on record that, that information is incorrect.

MR NCUBE: Thank you Hon. Speaker, I would like to thank the mover of this motion Hon. Chikwinya. There is Media Commission which is appointed by the SROC and the President, in consultation with the Minister and there is the BAZ which is actually appointed by the Minister. That is the difference between the Media Commission and BAZ. We need to explain that.

Commending that, it does not give the powers actually to BAZ to appoint, to issue the licences to people who are biased to a certain party. We do not have that. Hon. members are complaining that there is Mahoso and the Brigadiers and all these people. As long as they are not biased, it is okay unless if they are liars. If they are biased to a certain party, then it is wrong. A good example is where Super Mandiwanzira is being issued with a licence whilst the wife is part of the BAZ -[AN HON. MEMBER: The Manager]- The Manager of Super, I need to be corrected on that. In that case, that is where the problem is because there will be influence.

I think Mr. Speaker, we need to sit here as Members of Parliament and

say that which is wrong must be wrong. We can not have someone's manager sitting in the Board and is issued with the licence. We have been trying and we know that in the coming elections, we have our ZBC which is biased. It is like saying, we have got bread and it is not enough for ten people, when the belief is that if you go on with that bread, it will be enough for ten people. It is not. It is not correct. We need to have independent media. We need to have our people who are not aligned to a certain party. We need not to actually have MDC people on the ground in the media houses and we also need ZANU PF not to have people on the ground.

Coming to the issue of hon. members who said that the licensing has not been issued to Jack and Jill, in Zimbabwe everyone has a right to be issued with a licence, as long as you have that US$50 000 requirement, if you meet the requirements. With that, I would like to thank Hon. Chikwinya for affording me to add my voice.

MR. SPEAKER: Hon. Navaya, I am giving you your opportunity to -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Order, to articulate your views since you have been itching to say something in English. Hon. Navaya.

MR. NAVAYA: I think it is very, very unfair to think that I can not speak in English. The Media Commission in Zimbabwe is completely different from BAZ because BAZ is where the Minister is responsible. Some hon. members are biased in debating this issue because they just do not want some names in the board who are appointed by the Minister, so they debate on party lines because they do not want Mahoso. It is wrong because if it was someone from their own party, probably they would not say that it is not wrong for a retired soldier to join that board or anyone who works with Super Mandiwanzira to join that board. I thank you.

THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF MUTAMBARA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate be now adjourned.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 14th December, 2011.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA), the House adjourned at Four Minutes past Six o'clock p.m.

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National Assembly Hansard Vol. 38 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 13 DECEMBER 2011 VOL. 38 NO. 20