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Radio and television license fees hiked
September 11, 2007

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) has increased radio and television license fees, which will result in rural listeners paying $50 000 and urban listeners $200 000 per year.

According to Statutory Instrument 169 of 2007 Broadcasting (Listener's Licenses) (Fees) Notice 2007 published in the Government Gazette of 7 September 2007, owners of both home radio and television sets are now required to pay a combined fee of $600 000.The new license fee for car radios is $1 million, up from $550.

The license fee for company televisions has been set at $10 million per annum. In addition, companies will pay $3 million per year for office radios and $5 million for their car radios.

Prior to the latest increment, home radio and television listener's license Statutory lnstrument 13A/2007 pegged the fees at $20 and $650 respectively.

MISA-Zimbabwe hopes that these recent developments will enable Zimbabweans get value for their money. Currently, the state broadcaster is a government mouthpiece used to churn out propagandistic material. Ordinary Zimbabweans are made to endue this skewed broadcasting stance; thus, this leads one to question whether these fee hikes are justified.

It is depressing to note that, the same license fee payers are not accorded an opportunity to be heard and seen on television or radio. This is exacerbated by the fact that there is no alternative media as a result of ZBH's monopoly.MISA-Zimbabwe believes that there should be equal access to the media regardless of one's political affiliation. This is more so in light of ZBH's claims of being a public broadcaster.

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