This is an update on the urgent chamber application filed by MISA Zimbabwe with the Constitutional Court on 18 August 2018 seeking permission to live stream the election challenge hearing scheduled for 22 August 2018.
Following the application, the Registrar of the Constitutional Court responded by means of a letter to MISA Zimbabwe.
In his letter dated 18 August 2018, the Registrar stated that the Judicial Service Commission had already addressed the issue by granting permission to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), to broadcast the election challenge proceedings.
MISA Zimbabwe, however, this morning on 20 August 2018, responded by stating that there is still need to grant permission for the live streaming of the election challenge hearing through electronic media such as social media. Traditional television broadcasting has a limited reach when compared to other means such as Facebook Live and Twitter.
Statistics by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ), confirm the high national mobile phone penetration rate.
It, therefore, remains MISA Zimbabwe ’s respectful submission that live streaming the event on social media will reach a wider audience when compared with traditional radio and television channels that are mainly restricted to Zimbabwe’s major urban centres.
Furthermore, MISA Zimbabwe firmly believes that granting broadcasting rights solely to ZBC goes against the spirit of a pluralised media environment envisaged in Zimbabwe’s Constitution.
As such, MISA Zimbabwe has asked the court to grant permission for the hearing to be live streamed.