Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has banned all programming covering “prosperity and miracle prophets” on its platforms.
This action seems to be premised on public outrage on the number of prosperity messages on radio.
In this first of firsts, ZBC says it has taken in complaints from the community.
The latest report covered by the Daily News notes that there has been an unprecedented coverage of prophets at the expense of news, sports, business, entertainment and other programming.
ZBC acting head of Radio Services Albert Chekayi confirmed the public broadcaster had halted prophets’ programmes to assess if they were not infringing on the rights of their diverse audience.
Chekayi said once the process is complete, the broadcaster will re-engage those whose programmes would have been affected.
The ZBC operates four radio stations and one television station.
“What has happened is we have temporarily suspended the programmes to allow us to have a re-look considering the many complaints that we have received from the public who are the owners of the radio stations since we are a public broadcaster,” Chekayi said.
“This decision was taken by us… as we are answerable to the listeners. Remember, a public broadcaster does not just target profits but the interests of those who pay licences. Once the process is complete, it will inform us what steps to take.
“Remember, Zimbabwe is a country that upholds freedom of religion but guided by the Bill of Rights in our Constitution the freedoms one enjoys do not need to infringe on the rights of other citizens.
“So, as a public broadcaster, we have the balancing role of ensuring that no section of the country’s population is offended by the content we broadcast,” he added.
Recently, head of the European Union (EU) delegation in Zimbabwe, Ambassador Philippe Van Damme, said he was amazed with the over population of prophets in this country.
“In biblical tradition in the bible in the Old Testament you have quite some prophets but never with the density as in this country,” he said.
“I observe the sociological phenomenon from where I can observe them and my observations lead me to conclude ‘as you have fake news you have fake prophets’ driven by commercial interests,” he said.
This comes as Star FM (Zimbabwe) listeners continue to complain about a glut of prophet adverts, with listeners taking to social media to vent their frustration.
Observers are of the opinion that this measure should be extended to all broadcast outlets, not just the public broadcast stations.