Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Zim govt stifling media expression - Amnesty International

20 May 2015, 06:55Adam Wakefield

Johannesburg - The Zimbabwean government's continuing stranglehold on community radio in the country is stifling media expression, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.

"Despite promises and laws enacted more than 14 years ago to free up the airwaves for much needed community radio services, the government of Zimbabwe has failed to deliver on its promises and commitments,” the human rights organisation’s director for Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena, said in a statement.

"Not only have the government supporters been the only ones to receive licences, but those attempting to set up independent services have been arrested and targeted simply for trying to educate, inform and offer a platform for debate. This is a violation of freedom of expression."

Zimbabwe's government had embarked on an "insidious two-pronged attack" to block independent community radio by refusing to issue licences and by harassing and intimidating those wishing to provide services.

Muchena’s comments accompany an Amesty International report released on Wednesday entitled "Beyond Tokenism - The Need to License Community Radio in Zimbabwe".

Also Read: Dlamini-Zuma, Mugabe meet ahead of AU summit

According to the report, the Zimbabwean government had not issued a licence to a single community radio station since 2001, despite passing the Broadcasting Services Act that year. At least 28 community radio initiatives were waiting to be licensed.

"Restrictions to the right to freedom of expression and right to information for this target group are occurring in an environment where human rights defenders, government critics and the political opposition activists are also not freely enjoying their civil and political rights," the report reads.

"Human rights are being restricted through discriminatory practices, arbitrary application of the law and, in some instances, blatant violence is used with almost absolute impunity."

Opening up the airwaves and establishing independent community radio stations could have a positive impact on people's lives, especially in low-income urban and rural areas traditionally marginalised by mainstream media.

"Zimbabwe has an obligation under international law to respect, protect and fulfil the right to the freedom of expression of everyone in the country, especially those who are marginalised by mainstream media and those whose voices are drowned out in national and local debates," the report said.

Also Read: Mugabe off to Mali - report

The report’s recommendations include repealing or amending sections of the Public Order and Security Act and other laws that restrict the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association, and freeing the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) from political interference.

It was further recommended that the BAZ adopt an open-ended mechanism of licensing community broadcasting services by accepting applications any time of the year, and that it reduce its licence fees.

“Community radio can provide the life-blood of informed debate for rural and urban communities on matters of public interest and issues that directly affect them on a daily basis, be they social, economic or cultural," Muchena said.

- News24


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...