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Parly media committee grills BAZ over broadcasting licenses
July 07, 2011
Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technology
(PPC) on 7 July 2011 appealed to the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe
(BAZ) for 'real movement' towards freeing the broadcasting
space in Zimbabwe.
a parliamentary hearing held at Parliament
Building in Harare, Chairperson of the PPC, Honorable Seiso Moyo,
said after the licensing of more newspapers by the Zimbabwe Media
Commission (ZMC), the PPC had 'major concerns' with
BAZ, particularly regarding its unclear frequency in calling for
license applications, the prohibitive application fees and the status
of the Broadcasting Services Fund.
made before the PPC, BAZ which was represented by the Chairperson,
Dr Tafataona Mahoso and Chief Executive Officer, Engineer Obert
Muganyura, said calls for applications for more players in the industry
is being hampered by lack of infrastructure and equipment to regulate
the industry's technical and content issues.
BAZ was currently monitoring broadcasting in the industry with rudimentary
receivers loaned from Posts and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority
of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) adding that increasing the number of players
would thus be difficult.
BAZ also submitted
that the call for free-to-air commercial radio licenses was informed
by a survey carried out at 38 centres throughout the country which
prioritised commercial radios over the other classes of broadcasting
licenses. Muganyura said because government had failed to avail
resources to the authority to assist in the processing of applications,
the current exorbitant application fees were the result of the transfer
of costs to the applicants. The authority said that the next class
for licensing would be that for community radio stations.
Broadcasting Services Fund, BAZ submitted, is unable to fund any
activities in the industry as the only licensed broadcaster in the
country, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH), contributions
are in arrears. Muganyura said ZBH had over the years only made
payments for frequency fees.
concerning issuance of licenses for television stations, BAZ said
most of it activities are currently focusing on the digital migration
of Zimbabwe from analogue for which the International Telecommunication
Union has set 2015 as the compliance deadline. He said they were
working on the regulatory framework to cater for the migration and
that some training is currently taking place to ensure that there
is some progress.
Media Council of Zimbabwe also made its first appearance before
the PPC since its inception in 2007.The VMCZ was represented by
its newly elected Chairperson, Alec Muchadehama, Vice Chairperson,
Bornwell Chakaodza and board members Retired Justice George Smith,
Choice Damiso and members of its secretariat Takura Zhangazha and
The VMCZ briefed
the Committee on the principles of media self-regulation.
the MISA-Zimbabwe fact
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