Govt to outlaw hate speech by media
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The Media, Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu said government will soon propose a law barring hate speech in the media.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technology on Thursday, Minister Shamu said hate language in the media had become a cause for concern.
Mbizo legislator Mr Settlement Chikwinya (MDC-T) was chairing the committee meeting.
â€œCabinet on 15 May directed the Ministry to come up with legislation to deal with hate speech in both public and private media,â€ Minister Shamu said.
â€œThere is need for us as a nation to see that there is hate speech mirrored by our polarised media. The law will deal with hate speech that also comes from pirate radio stations.â€
Minister Shamu urged legislators to support the proposed law.
Zimbabwe has been subjected to hate language from pirate radio stations that are broadcasting into the country from other countries.
ZBC chief executive officer Mr Happison Muchechetere told the same committee that the broadcaster does not play songs with hate language.
He was responding to a question from Mr Chikwinya on how jingles find their way to the public broadcaster.
Mr Chikwinya asked why ZBC does not play songs that also exalt Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
â€œWe donâ€™t play jingles, but songs that talk about Zimbabwe, songs that exalt the leader of Zimbabwe just like they do in other countries like America: they donâ€™t play songs that exalt the Prime Minister,â€ said Mr Muchechetere.
â€œJingles are 30 seconds to about a minute and they are done during elections. So, we donâ€™t play jingles. At one time I sent emissaries to Harvest House (MDC-T headquarters) to request for songs and they sent me CDs that had songs that had hate language with songs like Zanu yaora.
â€œI never play a song that belittles another political party.â€
Media, Information and Publicity Permanent Secretary Mr George Charamba said the national broadcaster was not playing jingles.
He said the national broadcaster only plays jingles when an election date has been announced.
When an election date has been announced, Mr Charamba said, ZBC relocates to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission where the broadcaster comes under strict surveillance on airplay allocated to each contesting political party.
Meanwhile, Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe chief executive officer Mr Obert Muganyura told the same committee that no more national radio licences will be issued in Zimbabwe because the frequencies available have been exhausted.
Outlaw media hate
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