‘Why MDC Alliance can’t advertise even on trees’

Zanu-PF is paying for political adverts being aired by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), while the MDC Alliance is crying wolf over unfair coverage by the national broadcaster because of failure to pay for the available political advertising space, Permanent Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr George Charamba has said.

According to Section 160 H of the Electoral Act (Political advertising in broadcasting and print media), all political parties should be accorded advertising space by the national broadcaster, but such ads should be paid for.

The act reads: “(1) …if the broadcaster or publisher is prepared to publish any such advertisement a) it shall offer the same terms and conditions of publication, without discrimination, to all the political parties and candidates contesting the election; and b) the price it charges for publication shall be at the lowest rate it offers to publishers of commercial advertisements; and c) every such publication shall be identified clearly as an advertisement.”

In an interview yesterday, Mr Charamba said the MDC Alliance should not blame the national broadcaster for its lack of funding to pay for the adverts.

“People must not confuse access and procurement issues. At law, all political parties have a right of access to the national broadcaster, but it’s up to the political players to translate that right into reality and that is a function of the means, which are the resources and not of the law.

“If you look at the MDC Alliance party, they have been clearly struggling to campaign properly, which is why they have been trying to fundraise and which is also why they have not been able to purchase decent platforms for their candidate,” he said in reference to the embarrassing incident that saw MDC Alliance president Mr Chamisa falling off the stage in Hwange last month.

Mr Charamba said the MDC Alliance’s financial woes are there for all to see, as the party has even failed to put up posters on trees.

He was responding to claims by former MDC-T Member of Parliament Mr Settlement Chikwinya who claimed that ZBC was charging prohibitive fees.

“Beyond that, what their talkative outgone MP forgot to remind himself is that there are no MDC Alliance adverts in newspapers, which are a lot cheaper. Much worse, there are no MDC posters on trees. Is he suggesting that even trees have hiked their prices?”

Mr Charamba added: “They should never be a sense in anyone’s head that merely because they are contesting elections, that in itself is a license to rundown the frames of ZBC as a broadcaster. We will not allow that.

“The business of politics is expensive and if you are not ready to meet the expenses, get out.”

He suggested that MDC Alliance members could be converting party funds to personal use in anticipation of electoral defeat.

“They are thinking of life after defeat. You cant lose the politics and lose the money also.”

In an interview with The Sunday Mail yesterday, ZBC chief executive Mr Patrick Mavura said the MDC Alliance was among the motley of parties that have failed to take up the national broadcaster’s call for paid-for political adverts.

“We have availed programmes which are for free and other programmes which are paid for through adverts.

“We have been having challenges with the paid for programmes because only Zanu-PF has been able to pay while the other parties are struggling.”

Mr Mavura said ZBC had reduced advertising rate for political parties by 30 percent.

It is believed the opposition party has been pushing for free coverage in order to compensate for their failure pay for ad space.

Last week, MDC Alliance spokesperson Mr Welshman Ncube told our Bulawayo Bureau that his party had not been able to print posters for its presidential candidate, Mr Chamisa.

He also revealed that the party had resorted to selling regalia as it could not give it for free.

Early this year, Mr Chamisa’s party received US$1,873 663.83 under the Political Parties Fund Act, but MDCT- president Dr Thokozani Khupe, who broke ranks with the MDC-Alliance, has been fighting to get a share of the funds, saying her party was the legitimate beneficiary.

It is believed that the decision by non-Governmental organisations to turn off the taps due to alleged abuse of funds and the ineptness of beneficiaries has compounded the opposition political parties’ challenges.

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  • Truthhurts!

    MDC Alliance…ndopakaperera rusarangano!

    • Cde murenga

      Hahahaha hapana zviripo paya

      • Simango

        Zvenyu zviripi for the past 38 years.You failed to construct a single power station. Hamunyari kutenga magetsi yet we have thousand rivers. Zanu chayo is to inherit zvakavakwa nevamwe. Farms you envaded,companies you invaded under Indiginization and finally ED inherited presidential seat through a coup.Zvayo ndezve jambanja. Munonyadzisa. Bond notes you forced us to take tamaramba. It will be a shame for the rest of your life if you put such people back to power. Even you vazukuru will laugh at you kuti sekuru vavo ……….. pedzisawo

  • zimbotry

    So it must be fair to ask where in our current financial situation ZanuPF are getting money. Looted from the people of Zimbabwe over the last 38 years seems a likely answer

  • Flame

    Chamisa tsvaga mari hapana nyaya apa

  • April taffie

    Wotoona munhu achi blamer Zanu pf …haters haya lets just campaign in peace

  • Kokerai chisvo

    Mdc always has smfin to complain abt its not new

    • Simango

      ukajaira kudya mbodza ukazotaurirwa kuti sadza kwaro nderiri unoramba. Handikushoori you never lived a luxurious life


    cause we are broke and we are looking for funds

  • mukupe

    grace their Vp will fund them

  • khupe

    babies always cry. they dumped a person whom they used to cry to

  • Kaukonde

    MDC stop blaming Zanu pf cz we can see that already you don’t have funding to fund your party to advertise so hw can we trust such people if u lacking funding

  • Mandy chimene

    Kumdc hakuna chiriyo kubva Kuma fake promises apa they are broke.

    • Simango

      KuZanu kune nzara people fighting for t/shirts

  • Chipanga

    Ko pihwai Mari nevarungu venyu tiirakshe zvedu isu cz pundutso hapana

  • Jonathan Moyo

    Zbc is open for advertisements kongoda mapato apa imi vacho makasauka

  • Joana mamombe

    Under the new political dispensation hakuna zviye zvekudhara zvaitwa kare neZanu. Zvakadarika kuri open endai. You can as well finish your promise ur lies on ztv

  • Simango

    Remember Gorge you were told by Grace about not covering Zanu Pf so we are not amazed by your actions and incompetency. Hazvina basa zve DeadBc hatitarisi we have technology higher than Ztv. Its very slow in reporting news. Better close your station.Its the only station in the world with poor picture quality.Nxaaaaaaaa

  • Takesure Zvazviri

    Their main agenda right now is to fight with ZEC, then advertisements will commence after receiving money from Grace.

  • MAGO

    That is stupid talk by the sick Charamba..does Zanu PF pay for live coverage??..MDC Alliance might be broke but putting an X on them does not cost a cent.Zanu pf banks on the stolen $15 billion,looted freebies and our money as tax payers…but despite of that very soon you will be jobless and not even afford ARVs..Zanu pf is a liability nomatter how much they advertise or how much you cover them live…we are attending Zanu pf rallies to get our share of the 15 billion…it is cold we need those pyjamas and floor cleaning cloths..Ndatenda


    Aiwawoo…Zanu pf is supported by sick people chete

    • Tacks Nzungu

      MDC is supported by mentally deranged clueless idiotic stupid morons ! We hate TSVANCTIONS!

  • Tacks Nzungu

    That is a very false and dumb statement Charamba serves in a Zanupf government therefore he has to be Zanupf through and through!