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Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Patrick Zhuwao on Friday took an unprecedented step in writing to President Robert Mugabe claiming that State broadcaster ZBC is now an opposition mouthpiece.
Zhuwao made the scathing attack on the national broadcaster arguing ZBC had alleged that “government was indicating left and turning right” on the controversial indigenisation law.
The minister recently gave an ultimatum to foreign-controlled companies to comply with the Indigenisation Act that compels them to cede 51% shares to locals or face closure.
The companies were given until last Friday to comply failure, which they risked being deregistered or have their licences withdrawn.
“I have taken this unprecedented step to register my extreme displeasure at the manner in which your news organisation has conducted itself, as if they were a mouthpiece of an opposition entity,” Zhuwao wrote to ZBC in the letter copied to several officials including Information minister Christopher Mushohwe and chief secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda.
“I am hereby copying this letter to all relevant officers up to the level of His Excellency, the President R.G Mugabe.”
Zhuwao’s letter came after ZBC on Thursday aired some dissenting views about indigenisation compliance policy, which the minister is pursuing.
“ZBCTV news edition of the 31st of March 2016 devoted a significant amount of time towards providing a voice to individuals who sought to portray the position taken by President Mugabe with the full support of Cabinet in negative light,” he wrote.
Zhuwao alleged that the edition confirmed there was a deliberate editorial policy that was at variance with the position taken by Mugabe.
He reminded ZBC that “as a public broadcaster, it was duty bound and obligated to support the position taken by Mugabe with the full support of Cabinet”.
Zhuwao confirmed authoring the letter yesterday.
“I wrote the letter and you can do your story from it,” Zhuwao said.
Zhuwao could not say if the broadcaster had been captured by a faction of Zanu-PF as Mugabe’s succession battle spreads to the State controlled media.
ZBC spokesperson, Gladman Bandama was not answering his mobile phone yesterday.
Zanu-PF is divided into two factions supporting Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and First Lady Grace Mugabe.
State-controlled media has for long been used in the succession battles and a faction that gets its control can use it for propaganda purposes to its advantage.Source: the standard