BAZ Boss Under Fire Over Issuance Of Radio And TV Licences
The Chief Executive of Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, Obert Muganyura was recently grilled by parliament over issuing Oracle Virtual Directory (OVD) webcast television and radio licences at a time when the organisation had no board.
Muganyura was called upon to appear before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media to discuss the authority’s mandate and transmission obstacles faced by the country where he revealed that BAZ had not had a board since March 2015.
MPs from the committee said that by issuing OVD webcast licences singlehandedly, Muganyura possibly acted illegally.
The Chief Executive said that in his defence, some licences need not go through public inquiry because they do not utilise frequencies such as OVD webcast, Muganyura noted that these particular licences did not need the approval of a board in order to be issued.
The committee was not convinced by his response and said that they would seek legal advice from Counsel to Parliament on whether the law excuses the BAZ board from licencing certain classes of radio licences.
Muganyura said that eight community radio stations had been licensed and that two more were operated by State broadcaster ZBC, Central FM in Gweru and Khulumani FM in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
He said that BAZ was facing obstacles in low power outage of a few digital transmission sites, as well as spares for outdated analogue transmission equipment.
MPs accused BAZ of having purchased the wrong equipment for digitisation resulting in the completion of only 1% more work even after being given an extra $16 million to complete digitisation.
Muganyura strongly denied that wrong equipment had been bought choosing to say instead that it was transmission equipment purchased by Transmedia 20 years ago which had the low power of one kilowatt instead of five kilowatts.
Credit: This article originated from www.newsday.co.zw