THE Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has banned the broadcasting of faith healing programmes and adverts on radio and television following complaints by members of the public.
In a statement, BAZ chief executive officer Obert Muganyura said the authority had noted concerns emanating from broadcasting stations in the country regarding faith healing.
“Please kindly be advised that the authority has observed with concern the use of broadcasting stations as platforms for advertising faith and traditional healing powers and the use of scientifically untested methods of treatment and healing by certain individuals and churches including unverifiable testimonies,” he said.
Muganyura said the decision was informed by numerous complaints by members of the public to the radio and television stations as revealed by the stations’ complaints and registers and on social media.
“Needless to point out that for some stations, these broadcasts have impacted on the wider public and rather emerged as priority programming to the disappointment of viewers and listeners.
“To this extent considering the authority’s mandate to promote the interests of the consumers in respect of the quality of broadcasting services provided by licences, account being taken of the prohibition in terms of paragraph 27 (4) (c) of the Broadcasting Services (Licensing and Content) Regulations, 2004, of advertisement which misleads members of the public who are likely to believe in whatever comes out of radio or television, the authority hereby directs all radio and television stations to cease the advertising of faith healing powers and the use of scientifically untested methods of treatment and healing by individuals or churches including informaticals. Please kindly note that this directive does not stop the broadcasting of social discussion programmes or debates on these issues,” he added.
However, there were concerns that the banning of the faith healing programmes was going to affect revenues as this was one of the biggest revenue contributors for some stations.