6 new TV channels to go live in next three months

By Staff reporter | 14 Dec 2019 at 21:13hrs
Zimbabwe will have six television channels in the next three months as the Second Republic moves to ensure diversity in the broadcasting industry, a Cabinet minister has said.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the recently constituted Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) will be seized with the issue of licensing more broadcasters.

Minister Mutsvangwa said this in the Senate on Thursday during a question and answer session.

Midlands Senator Morgan Komichi (MDC-Alliance) had asked what Government was doing to ensure that there were independent broadcasters given that there was only one television channel almost 40 years after independence.

"Yes, you are right, Zimbabweans deserve a variety of television channels. Zimbabwe is one of the first African countries to have a television channel. What we have been doing as a ministry since the Second Republic is to make sure that we provide that diversity to our people. We want to have several television channels so that those who want to watch educational programmes can do so and those who want to watch sports can do so. The process is moving a little slower than we anticipated because it also requires resources for the digitisation to be completed," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

"What we have done, just to make you understand, is that we have put together the board which is now looking at the spectrum that we have as a country and see how many television channels they can allocate. The board is in place and will soon be inviting those interested in acquiring broadcasting licences. The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe is the statutory body that issues licences and this will be done as soon as possible. We should be able to have about six channels within the next three months."

Minister Mutsvangwa, in consultation with the President Mnangagwa, announced the new BAZ board led by Mr Charles Sibanda in August this year.

The other members are Ambassador Bornface Guwa Chidyausiku, Tendai Karonga, Vongai Makamure-Nduna, Vimbai Nyakudya, Chief Mabikwa, Oliver Mandipaka, Rodin Mzyece, Victoria Spiwe Mamvura, Jonathan Mapinda, Audrey Chihota and Tendayi Chakanyuka.

During the induction of the board members last month, Minister Mutsvangwa said Government had completed 18 of the 48 television transmitter sites under the Zimbabwe Digital Broadcasting Migration project whose mandate is migrate the country from analogue to digital television broadcasting.

She said Government was now working on securing the requisite foreign currency to source set top boxes to enable those people in areas where the transmitters have been installed to continue to use their existing analogue television sets to receive digital television services.



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