ZBC partially unbans Winky D's music

While Winky D's new EP gets airplay, critical songs from Eureka Eureka and previous albums remain banned.

Zimbabwe's only state broadcaster, ZBC, has eased restrictions on Zimdancehall artiste Winky D.

This follows a year of Winky D being blacklisted after his politically charged album "Eureka Eureka" angered authorities.

ZBC TV previously ignored Winky D and state radio stations stopped playing his music due to its social and political commentary.

A survey on radio stations showed that Winky D’s new four track EP- Love Quatert has been receiving airplay.

Well, the project might have gotten the benefit of doubt since it does not carry politically charged lyrics which have been symbolised as a threat by the government and the national broadcaster.

Sources say the change is due to new leadership at ZBC, with Zanu PF youth leader Charles Munganasa appointed acting CEO.

While Winky D's new EP gets airplay, critical songs from Eureka Eureka and previous albums remain banned.

During a concert, Winky D acknowledged the blackout's impact,  calling 2023 his toughest musical year.

He highlighted the lack of media support and expressed gratitude to his fans.

"2023 was the most difficult year for me musically but because of your love, your support we are here celebrating,” he said.

"I couldn’t get a radio advert for the show. I couldn’t get a radio interview for the show. I only had the internet and the streets that are you (fans)," said Winky D to his fans, in his first address of the media blackout.

ZBC recently appointed Munganasa, a Zanu PF’s secretary for administration in the Masvingo Youth League and current board member as acting CEO.

This move raises concerns about the national broadcaster's impartiality, particularly as the government seeks increased funding for ZBC.

Munganasa's appointment follows a period of leadership changes at ZBC.

He replaces Assael Machakata, who served as acting CEO after the suspension and subsequent resignation of Adelaide Chikunguru.

The appointment reportedly came from the ministry of Information, which maintains tight control over ZBC.

This coincides with proposed amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act. These amendments, if passed, would require motorists to purchase ZBC radio licenses when renewing their vehicle registrations.

The government's plan to raise US$100 million annually for ZBC, coupled with the appointment of a political figure as CEO, suggests a potential blurring of lines between government messaging and independent journalism.

This raises concerns about media freedom in Zimbabwe.

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