Zimbabwe War veterans sue Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC)

An organisation calling itself War Veterans Welfare Group has dragged the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) to court, alleging breach of contract.

In an urgent chamber application filed at the High Court, the group said it entered into an agreement with the public broadcaster, in terms of which ZBC was supposed to flight advertisements inviting former liberation war fighters to participate in a demonstration held in Harare yesterday.

“ZBC agreed to flight the adverts thrice and on consecutive days beginning Saturday December 15.

“ZBC has, however, and at the 11th hour stopped flighting of war vets’ paid for and previously accepted adverts for the demonstration, but failed to give good and sufficient reasons warranting interference with war veterans’ fundamental rights, except that his stance was malicious and discriminatory,” the application reads in part.

Despite having accepted payment for the adverts, ZBC cancelled the contract ostensibly because the group did not use proper channels to bring their message.

According to court papers, ZBC insists that the adverts should have come through the main Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA).

“At around 15:30hrs on 15 December 2018 ZBC informed war veterans that it had cancelled the contract that had been paid for to flight messages communicating the war vets’ scheduled demonstration and petition government to attend to their welfare issues.

“The given reason for the stoppage was that war veterans should have come through the ZNLWVA which he recognised as the only legitimate grouping of war veterans in the country,” the war veterans group said.

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The group said ZBC’s conduct was distasteful in the face of the constitutional provisions for fairness and impartiality in citizens’ exercise of their fundamental rights and for being a malicious breach of contract.

They have requested that the High Court grants an order compelling ZBC not to treat the ex-combatants in an unfairly discriminatory manner in the enjoyment of their freedom of expression.