Minister speaks on TV licences

By Staff reporter | 10 Sep 2020 at 15:53hrs
The selection of six free-to-air national commercial television licences will be transparent and above board, as the best applicant will carry the day, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, has said.

She said the awarding of television licences to successful companies would ensure diversity. The minister said this yesterday in the National Assembly during the question and answer session.

Mabvuku-Tafara MP, James Chidhakwa (MDC-Alliance), had asked why Government wanted to issue television licenses without amending the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA).

Kambuzuma MP, Willias Madzimure, asked if the adjudication process would be fair given that some Government entities such as Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Limited, which publishes a number of newspaper titles including The Herald, The Chronicle and The Sunday Mail, had expressed interest.

Minister Mutsvangwa said the selection of holders of commercial television licences would be done simultaneously with the amendment of the BSA. She said the selection of additional television stations was consistent with the aspirations of the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa of ensuring media reforms.

When she assumed duty, Minister Mutsvangwa constituted the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe board that had not been there for a long time, in a demonstration of Government's commitment to ensuring a free press.

"The Broadcasting Services Amendments are before the Attorney General's Office and the process is moving simultaneously with the issuance of television licences, which should be completed before year end," said Minister Mutsvangwa. "The selection will be done above board. We will make sure that the best gets the licence because the process will be fair."

BAZ has short-listed 14 companies that have applied to be considered to be among the six free-to-air national commercial television.



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