Zimbabwe: Govt. Issues Six New TV Broadcast Licences
Zimbabwean authorities have announced the licensing of six new television broadcasting outfits. These new licences are designed to break the long-existing monopoly that has been accorded to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) since 1980 and is still the only national TV station in operation in Zimbabwe.
The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) announced that the following 6 (out of 14)licence applications have been successful: ZTN, NRTV, 3K TV, Kumba TV, Channel D and Ke Yona TV. BAZ says it has given the new stations eighteen months to be operational and go on air or stand the risk of losing their licenses.
Announcing the licensing, the chairman of BAZ, Mr Charles Sibanda said that Zimbabweans have had a long yearning and have for called for BAZ to allow more independent broadcasters in the country, and it has now delivered. He also expressed his appreciation "to all who actively participated in this historic process of facilitating the opening up of broadcasting airwaves for multiplicity in television services.
Even as BAZ says that it has been as transparent as it can be in the process of awarding these new broadcasting licenses, some industry watchers are of the opinion that the process was pre-determined and that many of the licensees have strong political ties to the government or the ruling party. The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has urged that "there is a need for more players from different backgrounds to be granted licences" to avoid "only players with links to the government will be granted licences".