ZiFM Stereo has refuted claims in the media that it pulled out an interview with Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo to discuss the recently launched scholarship programme.
In a statement last night, ZiFM Stereo said the interview with Prof Moyo was deferred due to a clash of schedules.
“That such a clash of schedules happened is regrettable and the station did apologise to the Hon Prof Moyo when it advised of the postponement 19 hours before the interview was to take place,” said ZiFM.
ZiFM was responding to media reports in which Prof Moyo was quoted savaging the commercial radio station for allegedly pulling out of an interview that it had granted him to discuss his ministry’s proposed Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) scholarship programme.
Minister Moyo was quoted in the media suggesting that political machinations were behind the station’s last-minute decision to decline to host him after it aired an interview with Presidential spokesman Mr George Charamba last week in which he slammed successionists challenging leaders appointed by President Mugabe at the zanu-pf Sixth National People’s Congress.
ZiFM said in radio and in media, it was not a crime to postpone a programme and it was not unusual to double book guests to a show — although it should be avoided.
“We are surprised that the postponement of a radio interview to discuss a non-political Government programme would attract such vitriol,” the radio station said.
“We believe in the freedom of the media and that this freedom includes freedom to postpone programmes and sometimes freedom not to publish. We believe in balance and fairness in all our current affairs programmes and this is why on Monday, February 8 2016 we agreed to grant Hon Prof Moyo the right of reply to an interview with Presidential spokesman and secretary for information Mr George Charamba.”
ZiFM also said while Mr Charamba did not mention any Cabinet Minister by name in the interview it carried — the station had granted Prof Moyo an interview on the basis that he felt he was the one being castigated by Mr Charamba in the interview.
All this, ZiFM pointed to its professional approach, the reason why its news and current affairs had been acclaimed nationally and on the continent with several awards.
“ZiFM Stereo does not and will not be a political player. It refuses to be dragged into the political mudslinging, wherever it is occurring.
“Our record speaks for itself. In the meantime, the station reserves its right to take legal action against those trying to undermine its integrity by publishing falsehoods.”