THE power-sharing deal signed last week by President Robert Mugabe and leaders of the two formations of the MDC has raised a spectre of hope that the new government will open up media space in the country by licensing closed newspapers and new radio and television stations, writes Loughty Dube in the Zimbabwe Independent. 


Media players said they were also expecting repressive media laws like the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa) and Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) to be repealed.

According to the agreement signed by Mugabe, Arthur Mutambara and Morgan Tsvangirai, the inclusive government will recognise the importance of the right to freedom of expression and the role of the media in a multi-party democracy.

The agreement noted that despite the provisions of the BSA, no licences have been issued to private broadcasters.

The government under Mugabe's rule has maintained tight control of the media.

Using Aippa, the government closed several newspapers, among them the Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday, the Tribune and the Weekly Times.

But under the inclusive government deal, the newspapers may bounce back.

The parties agreed to ensure that all applications for private radio and television stations and newspapers under the BSA and Aippa are processed immediately.

The deal further stipulated that "all Zimbabwean nationals including those currently working for or running external radios stations be encouraged to make applications for broadcasting licences, in Zimbabwe, in terms of the law".

Click here to read the full report, posted on the Zimbabwe's website.