By Paul Nyathi|As the 2018 election draws closer, the ruling ZANU PF which is enjoying a monopoly of the state run national broadcasters has all but extended its election campaign mouthpiece through the introduction of the Zimpapers run television to be launched soon.
Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Ltd was granted the television broadcasting licence by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ).
This makes the government run media house the first and only media house in the country with a footprint in publishing and digital, radio broadcasting, printing and packaging and now television broadcasting.
Zimpapers Group had already set up Zimpapers Television Network (ZTN) as a production house where it has been producing mostly political documentaries featuring ZANU PF and liberation war events.
The ruling party currently enjoys use of the only television channel, ZBC TV to cover all its election campaign rallies and programmes.
Political analyst and critic Hopewell Chinono described the issuance of a content distribution television license to Zimpapers as a monumental terrible joke.
“The Government of Zimbabwe can’t continue playing this game where it gives broadcast licenses to its surrogates and expect this to be called media reformation,” he wrote on Facebook.
“It shows lack of foresight and creativity by those in charge of the media “repressive” section of the Government of Zimbabwe.”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently indicated that his government is not yet ready to open up the airwaves and will only do so after the elections.