Government to allow private TV stations in Zim

ZBC enjoys an unchallenged monopoly in the country, but will soon face stiff competition as govt readies to open up broadcasting space
ZBC enjoys an unchallenged monopoly in the country, but will soon face stiff competition as govt readies to open up broadcasting space

Harare – The broadcasting monopoly held by Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation Television (ZBC TV) is nearing its end as government prepares to open up the airwaves to private players.

This development was raised during an interview between the Permanent Secretary of Information Media and Broadcasting Service George Charamba on ZiFm Stereo.

Charamba expressed displeasure with the quality of content on state broadcaster ZBC, which the sole broadcaster in the country.

“ZBC is poor because it has stayed too long as a monopoly and this monopoly is now being dismantled,and in a matter of months from now I will be dealing with licenses for new TV stations such that this whole fascination with ZBC cease to matter, to ensure the playing field is level”

For the longest time, opposition parties have made allegations of discriminatory practices by ZBC, which covers ruling party events only.

There have been demands for the broadcaster to be independent from political clutches which is in line with the country’s constitution and regional protocols on freedom of expression.

The Southern Africa Development Countries (SADC) guidelines on elections place obligations on the public media to act fairly.

Media practitioner Koliwe Nyoni once said, “Demanding reforms at ZBC means a number of things, there is need to secure the editorial independence of the public broadcaster. There is political interference that has past see the public broadcaster blacking out on critical coverage such as that of opposition parties during elections and there is need for the law to define the editorial independence of ZBC”