Way to go Jonathan Moyo

INFORMATION minister Jonathan Moyo

RETURNING Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo and his deputy Supa Mandiwanzira were last Thursday in Bulawayo to consult media stakeholders on challenges besetting the industry and to seek a way forward.

The discussions were frank and yet revealing as artistes poured their hearts out on what they described as marginalisation by the State broadcaster — the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).

Musicians complained that their material was not aired with Majahawodwa “Jeys Marabini” Ndlovu saying artistes from the region were poor because their work was not getting as much airplay as their counterparts from outside the region.

Ndlovu said a few artistes were being invited for national functions like music galas when the region boasted so many talented musicians.

Others complained that ZBC stations appeared to prefer South African music to that from Matabeleland.

There were also complaints that presenters at the country’s national broadcasting stations neglected other local languages as they preferred to communicate in Shona.

The list of complaints against ZBC was very long, but Moyo’s response gave the artists a glimmer of hope that things could change.

Moyo, who hails from Tsholotsho, acknowledged that the southern region was very diverse and that it would only be logical for ZBC to be seen celebrating that diversity.

Unlike his other Zanu PF colleagues who become very uncomfortable when the issue of the marginalisation of Matabeleland is mentioned, the minister took the bull by the horns.

“This is not being said for the first time. It is a self-evident truth,” Moyo said.

“There is a feeling in communities that our national platforms do not reflect that truth.”

However, the only grey area in the minister’s presentation was to tell people to wait until 2015 for plurality in the television industry.

The excuse that we must wait for digitalisation of the broadcasting sector for more television stations to be licensed is a bit disingenuous and Moyo and his team need to be real on that score. Zimbabwe has the capacity to licence more television stations even before digitalisation is achieved.