The granting of licences this week by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe has generated much debate about the determination of Zanu PF to entrench its monopoly of the airwaves. From 12 applicants BAZ announced five companies that it awarded commercial radio licences to broadcast in eight urban centres.
All 5 companies are owned, controlled or have links to someone in Zanu PF. On Wednesday evening journalist Lance Guma took to twitter to air his views on the developments. Information Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo who recently joined twitter decided to respond and below is the full exchange.
Lance Guma: Embarrassing that 35 years after independence we have a ruling party that refuses to let go of its Radio and TV monopoly inside #Zimbabwe.
Lance Guma: The #Zimbabwe Broadcasting Authority will never give a Radio or TV licence to any entity that is not owned or controlled by Zanu PF. SIMPLES
Jonathan Moyo: @LanceGuma But BAZ has licenced Cont’s Amakhosi Theatre in Byo. It wud take quite a leap 2 say that theatre is Zanu PF owned or controlled
Lance Guma: @ProfJNMoyo That your close friend Qhubani Moyo is part of project gives the game away does it not? Project is less threatening given make up
Jonathan Moyo: @LanceGuma There’s no game 2 give away. Qhubani is an employee as CEO. He does not own Amakhosi nor does Zanu PF own or control Amakhosi
Lance Guma: @ProfJNMoyo It must then be a lucky “coincidence” that a project whose CEO is the friend of the Information Minister gets a Radio Licence.
Jonathan Moyo: @LanceGuma You’re entitled to your views. But this is now different from your earlier assertion that BAZ cant licence a non Zanu PF entity
Lance Guma: @ProfJNMoyo You have given my earlier assertion even more oxygen given the CEO of project is friend to the Minister. The control is via him.
Jonathan Moyo: @LanceGuma Hahaha enjoy the oxygen. But citizens can’t lose their constitutional rights bcoz they’re thought to be friends of a minister
Lance Guma: @ProfJNMoyo At least now we know why Qhubani Moyo resigned from the MDC led by Ncube. He already knew a radio licence lay ahead hahaha…
Jonathan Moyo: @LanceGuma Now you’re getting politically creative & that is allowed in a democracy but some view that kind of creativity as hot air.
Lance Guma: @ProfJNMoyo If you read all the articles written at the time of Qhubani Moyo’s resignation from MDC everyone predicted something like this
Jonathan Moyo: @LanceGuma To claim Amakhosi Theatre has gotten a metro radio licence bcoz of one employee called Qhubani is incredulous. How about Cont?
Lance Guma: @ProfJNMoyo In some countries Information Minister awarding licence to a project where his close friend is CEO would be cause for an enquiry.
Meanwhile Nehanda Radio looked into each of the five stations that were granted a licence and exposed their links to Zanu PF:
Its major shareholder is a Zanu PF cabinet minister and legislator, Supa Mandiwanzira. He is the current Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services. Mandiwanzira also owns a local radio station, ZiFM.
His company won two licenses (Gogogoi FM and Faya FM in Masvingo and Gweru respectively).
Trading Nyaminyami FM and KE100.4 FM in Kariba and Harare respectively. Kingstons is a 100% parastatal under the ministry of information.
Trading as Skyz Metro FM and Breeze FM in Bulawayo and Victoria Falls.
Owned by Qubani Moyo and Cont Mhlanga. Zanu PF sources also said Information minister Jonathan Moyo is also linked to Fairtalk communications and is a silent executive.
Moyo is a former MDC official who resigned and joined Zanu PF soon after the 2013 elections. He is a close friend to Jonathan Moyo.
Trading as Diamond FM in Mutare and is part of the state media and runs another station Star FM.
Ray of Hope
Which is trading as YA FM in Zvishavane is owned by former ZBC chief executive officer Munyaradzi Hwengwere.
Hwengwere was once the Principal Secretary in the then Department of Information and Publicity in the President’s Office, second in command to current Permanent Secretary in the ministry George Charamba.