The European Union Election Observer Mission (EUEOM) has said the State broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) failed to abide by its legal obligation to ensure fair treatment to all political parties.
Presenting the EUEOM’s preliminary report in Harare, the head of the the delegation Mr Elmar Brok said State owned media was biased towards Zanu-PF. The report reads:
Based on EU EOM monitoring, the state broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), failed to abide by its legal obligation to ensure equitable and fair treatment to all political parties and candidates. State-owned TV, radio and newspapers, which dominate the media landscape, were heavily biased in favour of the ruling party and incumbent president in their election-related coverage.
Media operated in a generally free environment during the campaign and freedom of expression was respected. The legal framework for media, while providing for fundamental rights, needs further improvement to bring it into line with the Constitution.
In its report, the African Union Election Observer Mission (AUOM) also noted the bias of the media in Zimbabwe and recommended the full implementation of the Broadcasting Service Act to ensure equal access to the State broadcaster by all contestants during elections. Part of the report reads:
…in light of the partisan and polarised nature of the media in Zimbabwe, consider full implementation of the Broadcasting Service Act and ensure equal access to the State Broadcaster to all contestants during elections.