ZBC Presenter Reinstated After Suspension for Controversial Comments on King Lobengula and Colonialism

May 3, 2024
zbc presenter suspended over king lobengula taunt avoids axe | Report Focus News
zbc presenter suspended over king lobengula taunt avoids axe

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has reinstated Farai Magada, a presenter who was previously suspended alongside Victoria Manase in January 2024. The controversy began when Manase, while hosting “Good Morning Zimbabwe” on ZTV, made contentious remarks about Ndebele King Lobengula Khumalo’s historical dealings with British imperialists. Co-host Magada further fueled the fire by suggesting that colonialism had its benefits, such as modern clothing and technology.

According to The Standard, Magada has now been shifted to Classic 263 radio station following a disciplinary hearing that resulted in a written warning. Manase, a part-time presenter, has departed from the organization.

Political analyst Effie Ncube criticized the incident, arguing that media should aim to unify the nation rather than perpetuate division. “The media should be used for uniting and building the nation, not for fanning the flames of hate,” Ncube told The Standard. He expressed concern over the lack of official statements from the government or ZBC regarding Magada’s reinstatement, suggesting that silence might deepen social polarization.

Mbuso Fuzwayo, secretary-general of the human rights group Ibhetshu LikaZulu, commented on the broader implications of the controversy. He noted the government’s role in perpetuating historical inaccuracies and their failure to address these issues adequately, such as during events commemorating General Mtshana at Pupu.

The situation was further complicated by a past scandal involving Magada in 2023, where she accused the then ZBC director of radio services, Robson Mhandu, of sexual harassment. Mhandu allegedly demanded sexual favors in exchange for approving her transfer request, leading to his suspension and eventual dismissal after his contract ended in February 2024.

This series of events highlights ongoing issues within ZBC and the broader media landscape in Zimbabwe, where the line between reporting and influencing public opinion remains controversially blurred.