A court application in which Misa Zimbabwe had sought to live stream today’s MDC
Alliance petition hearing in the Constitutional Court (Con-Court) has been thrown out.
In dismissing the application, Chief Justice Luke Malaba said ZBC which has been given exclusive rights to broadcast the proceedings, has sufficient means to publicise the proceedings.
Misa Zimbabwe director, Tabani Mpofu, confirmed that their bid had been turned down.
“The Con-Court this afternoon dismissed Misa Zimbabwe’s application to have a live streaming service following tomorrow’s election challenge. The court held that ZBC has sufficient means to publicise the court proceedings,” Misa posted on Twitter.
Misa had first approached the Judicial Service Commission on Friday to raise its misgivings but was turned down, leading to the media watchdog appealing to the Con-Court where the matter was heard in chambers yesterday.
The media watchdog had argued that by granting exclusivity to ZBC, millions of viewers who rely on social media for accessing information would be deprived of real-time news on the matter.
It was further argued that most people in the country were now hooked to their smart mobile phones compared to the television, relying on statistics from the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe.
Misa had therefore felt that live streaming the event on social media would reach a wider audience when compared with traditional radio and television channels that are mainly restricted to Zimbabwe’s major urban centres.
Granting broadcasting rights solely to ZBC, it was further argued, goes against the spirit of a pluralised media environment envisaged in Zimbabwe’s Constitution.
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