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Zimbabwe broadcasting laws restrictive
June 02, 2006

Zimbabwe’s Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Communications has conceded that the country’s broadcasting laws are prohibitive to the entry of private players.

In a report tabled before parliament on 1 June 2006, the Committee said the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) should regularise the "stringent" requirements under the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) to operate a radio or television station to allow other players to participate.

A member of the committee, Forbes Magadu, said BAZ should this year focus and concentrate on issuing licenses to private players especially for community radio stations throughout the country.

"Other players should enter the market. We cannot continue to live in isolation. We have only one licensed television station," said Magadu.

He said BAZ could easily become self-sustaining if more players were allowed to enter the broadcasting sector as opposed to the present situation where the state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings enjoys monopoly of the airwaves.

The BSA among other restrictions bans foreign funding and investment in the otherwise capital intensive broadcasting sector making it almost impossible for private players to set up their own television and radio stations.

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