The government continues to inhibit the basic right to freedom of information after the Broadcasting Association of Zimbabwe this week imposed a punitive $1 million for television licences and $142 000 for online radio stations.
Through SI 26 of 2020, the regime has unveiled hefty charges for anyone who ever thought of getting into the broadcasting business, while more disappointingly, it has carried over the old statute that requires licencing of online players.
What the illegitimate government is seeking to do is to curtail the basic right for citizens to freely receive and impart information, which right is enshrined in the country’s Constitution.
Platforms for freedom of expression are narrowing as the cost of entry is beyond the reach of ordinary citizens. This has killed potential independent voices, plurality and competition of ideas, leaving all platforms of communication to State hegemony and control.
This is all the more the more reason why the MDC is demanding a raft of comprehensive reforms, including media reforms, to ensure that citizens’ rights are not needlessly proscribed by this piranha regime.
The people of Zimbabwe will continue to use all legitimate means and forms of expression to curtail the regime’s voracious appetite to devour basic rights and freedoms.
This needless commodification and commercialization of a basic right will be robustly resisted and will be fought in all platforms, including in the streets.
Deputy National Spokesperson