26 July 2018
THE new-look Board of Censors, which was appointed in May last year, has not been operational since November 15 last year and are awaiting regularisation.
The members of the statutory body hold five-year appointment letters, which have not been terminated amid reports that they are supposed to go through a new clearance procedure.
Board chairperson and former Cabinet minister, Aeneas Chigwedere, said the delays have stalled their operations.
In an interview with H-Metro, Chigwedere referred most of the questions to the Home Affairs Ministry, which has not regularised the board’s operations.
“We are in limbo,” said Chigwedere in a telephone interview.
Asked on the progress they made since their appointment by former Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chimbo, Chigwedere said:
“We cannot talk of anything as of now. We are still awaiting for regularisation by the (new) Minister and as it stands, we are in limbo.
“The (relevant) Minister is the one who can furnish you with our operations.”
When Minister Chombo announced the new board last year, Chigwedere was to be deputised by Konzani Ncube.
Other members of the board comprised former President Mugabe’s daughter Bona Mugabe-Chikore, Chief police spokesperson Charity Charamba, Runyararo Magadzire, Chief Nyamukoho (Samson Katsande), Regis Chikowore, Shingai Rukwata Ndoro, Chengerai Daitai, Tungamirai Mugandinhiri and Catholic Priest Father Fidelis Mukonori.
According to the then Minister of Home Affairs (Chombo), the board was tasked to serve for five years instead of three.
The board had also been tasked with safeguarding people’s rights as well as controlling the media and film industry.
A lot was also expected from the board which boasted of academics, historians along with other members with legal background.
The Chigwedere board had initiated measures in having the enabling act to be amended so that it becomes an Entertainment Classification and Rating Board within the requirements of the new constitution.
There has been speculation that the board will be dissolved and the board of censors is then turned into a department within the Home Affairs ministry although this would require amendments to the law.
The board came under scrutiny following a decision to have Club Sankayi’s billboards taken down for “violating” censorship laws. Owner of the club, Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure did not contest the directive and is working on toned down billboards.
Had Ginimbi contested the decision, it would have necessitated a request/demand for minutes of the censorship board where the decision was made.