Zimbabwe: Maligned ZBC Charms MDC Alliance With Live Broadcast of Manifesto Launch - Marididi Apologises for Colourful Biti Lingo

Public broadcaster ZBC charmed the opposition MDC Alliance Thursday after it broadcast live the coalition's manifesto launch.

ZBC, widely criticised for pro-ruling Zanu PF propaganda, has been at the centre of demands for electoral reforms by the opposition which hardly ever gets live coverage of its events of the state-owned broadcaster.

But Pockets Hill broke with tradition Thursday, covering the alliance's manifesto launch live on radio and television.

Director of the ceremony James Maridadi had to remind one of the coalition principals Tendai Biti to stop using 'dirty language' as thousands of viewers and listeners were watching and listening the launch live.

Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa said ZBC should be commended for the coverage.

"What ZBC has done it must be commended, we must celebrate when good things are done, we say well done ZBC. But when you mess up we will say it without fear or favour," he said.

The development came a few days after the alliance marched in Harare demanding, among other things that, "there must (forthwith) be equal access to and equal coverage of all political parties in the public media, in particular the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC)."

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been consistent in insisting that the July 30 elections will be free and fair.

Having assumed office following a military coup last November, the Zanu PF leader wants a credible vote to seal local and international endorsement of his power grab.

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