A week after the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation was ordered by the Cabinet to stop airing musical spots hailing President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party, the political tunes continue to run, boosting political tension.
The songs hail President Mugabe for his role in the 1970s liberation struggle and assert that he remains in full control despite the national unity government formed with the Movement for Democratic Change in February 2009.
ZANU-PF Central Committee member and former information minister Jonathan Moyo in an article published in the state-controlled Herald newspaper, a ZANU-PF mouthpiece, accused the Cabinet of letting itself be compromised by “specific political interests that are hostile” to Zimbabwe’s liberation history and revolutionary legacy.
Moyo said a Cabinet directive banning revolutionary songs from state airwaves could be challenged in court.
Commentator Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni of the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira that the jingles show ZANU-PF is getting gearing up for elections next year.
Media lecturer Tendai Chari of Venda University in South Africa said however that the musical spots are unlikely to exert much influence on urban audiences whose loyalties for the most part lie with the MDC.
The MDC says the spots violate provisions of the 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing calling for state media to be more balanced and impartial.