11 December 2018
The Zimbabwe Peace Project is appalled by the National Broadcaster, Zimbabwe Broadcast Corporation (ZBC) for airing views that promote hate and perpetuates stereotypes against people with disabilities in violation of the spirit of the Constitution and also against its own duty to inform, educate and entertain the public.
A social commentator identified as Patriarch Nyaude on a ZBC Current Affairs said albinism is a result of witchcraft proffering outlandish theories that are untested and being disseminated on International Human Rights Day.
The utterances by Nyaude buttresses the mistaken belief that albinism is a result of evil spirits which has resulted in persons with albinism being rejected, discriminated against or killed for ritual purposes.
The national broadcaster ought to know better that their programme would undermine rights of people with disabilities in particular persons with albinism. This programme has the effect of undermining ongoing programmes to end stereotypes against people with albinism in particular and people with disabilities in general. Such stereotypes have resulted in the violation of rights of those with albinism.
While ZPP recognises Nyaude’s right to freedom of expression and cultural practices, we are particularly disheartened by his failure to recognise how expressing his rights infringes on the rights of others. ZBC has a duty to inform the public and by allowing untested claims to be aired runs counter to this duty.
As ZPP we urge ZBC to take its duty to give access to information to citizens seriously by ensuring that outright misinformation does not find its way on what is supposed to flight family friendly programmes. The airing of such information makes persons with albinism vulnerable. We urge ZBC to publicly apologise to people with disabilities and run programmes that protect these people in an effort to manage the damage caused by this particular programme. We urge the Media Commission of Zimbabwe to censure the national broadcaster and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission to institute an investigation with the view of sanctioning those who were behind the production and airing of such a programme on International Human Rights Day. This is evidence that many people do not have information on the basics of protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.
If you are concerned about acts of violence in your community, ZPP encourages you to get in touch with us on Hotline and WhatsApp numbers
+263 774 883 406 and +263 774 883 417
Toll Free: 080 80199