Back to Index
BAZ call for webcasting and diffusion service applicants mired in
January 27, 2011
MISA-Zimbabwe is concerned about the reports that do not only continue
to add confusion on the country's broadcasting regulatory
body but also appear to be aimed at legitimising the body which
has been deemed to have been illegally constituted by the information
ministry in 2009.
the publication of a notice published in The Sunday Mail of 19-25
December, 2010 in which the Broadcasting and Authority of Zimbabwe
(BAZ) called for diffusion and webcasting service providers to register
their operations with it this year saying it has the legality to
demand fees and license of their operations.
by the BAZ implies that banks, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes
and other business operators with diffusion services are required
to register. The call also extends to broadcasting of pre-recorded
programmes for reception by passengers of railway service, transport
operators, i.e. railcasting and roadcasting.
is defined under the BSA
as including the dissemination -
- by means
of any conducting medium of the whole or any part of writing,
signs, signals, pictures, impulses or sounds broadcast by a broadcasting
- of music,
speech, pictures or other data for information, education or entertainment
purposes by means of any conducting medium connected to two or
more items of apparatus specifically designed for the reproduction
of sound, pictures or data; or
- of teletext
and vertical blanking intervals
as defined under the BSA refers to the broadcasting of pre-recorded
programmes for reception by passengers of any public service vehicle
as defined in the Road Traffic Act [Chapter 13:11], while railcasting
means the broadcasting of pre-recorded programmes for reception
by passengers of any railway service.
The Act also
defines webcasting as a computer-mediated broadcasting service.
In the notice, BAZ emphasized the definition of a broadcasting service
under the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) as meaning "any
service which delivers television or radio programmes to persons
having equipment appropriate for receiving that service."
fees vary from $3000.00 for transport operators to $9000.00 for
programme providers annually. Webcasters will be required to fork
out $1000.00 non-refundable application fee and $18000.00 in license
fees for the webcasting service.
BAZ also advised that it will be receiving the applications throughout
the year and warned that it was illegal for any person to provide
any service that falls within the broadcasting definition without
a permission granted by it.
BAZ is a board
established under the Broadcasting service Act (BSA) of Zimbabwe
to regulate all broadcasting services in Zimbabwe.
Since the enactment
of the BSA in 2001, the BAZ only called for applications once in
2005, but failed to issue a single license to prospective private
broadcasters who had submitted applications, leaving the state's
broadcasting monopoly over Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation to
The legal status
of the current BAZ is mired in confusion. In terms of the law the
president has the discretion to appoint nine nominees submitted
by representative groups such as churches, legal practitioners and
accountants following a call for nominations by the Minister. The
president makes the other three appointments from a list of six
nominees submitted by SROC.
2009, the ministry of information unprocedurally appointed the BAZ
as noted by even the principals to the Unity government at the SADC
summit held in Windoek, Namibia 2010. In fact, the coalition
government agreed to reconstitute the board within 30 days. It was
agreed that the Information Ministry, the Parliamentary Standing
Rules and Orders Committee (SROC) and the principals would be responsible
for that reconstitution.
is guided by the African Charter on Broadcasting in its emphasis
on the need for transparency in the appointment and composition
of BAZ. This makes inevitable, the need for the repeal of the existing
repressive Broadcasting Services Act and its replacement with a
democratic law in line with regional and international instruments
It is against
this background that MISA-Zimbabwe seeks clarity and transparency
in the regulation of the broadcasting sector to allow for the proliferation
of private broadcasters to enhance access to information for the
generality of the Zimbabwean population.
MISA - Zimbabwe
calls for the clarity on the legal status of BAZ so that aspiring
broadcasters are clear on which board to approach for broadcasting
the MISA-Zimbabwe fact
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.