The Rigging Report: ZBC Cons MDC Out of $160 000

By John Chimunhu

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation conned the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) out of $160 000 by demanding advance payment for advertisements that were never shown on television, the party says.

The party of former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai listed failure to broadcast the material as one of the reasons it lost the polls, in a massive dossier on how the July 2013 election was rigged by Zanu PF.

“On 6 July we invited ZBC to cover our elections manifesto launch at Rudhaka stadium in Marondera, to which they wrote back demanding $164 000 to cover the event. We submitted and paid for TV advertisements through a Zimbabwean advertising firm, Gary Thomson and Associates (GTA) but these were never flighted,” the report says.

The ZBC, however, claimed that it did not flight the material because it was not given programme lists.

The Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ) said it “unreservedly condemns this grossly unprofessional conduct by the national broadcaster, not just because it violates all local, regional and continental standards and protocols of a broadcasting station mandated to serve the nation’s information needs”.

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