Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa has announced that Government will be issuing commercial television licences to interested parties.

This developmenyt came about when Komichi on Thursday in the Senate asked why Government was not granting licences to private players who want to open new TV stations in Zimbabwe.

He also enquired why Zimbabwe had one TV station considering the fact that the country gained its independence 40 years ago.

Komich said:

Thank you Hon. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.  Hon. Minister, the Zimbabwean citizens would be happy if they could have a private broadcaster.  Zimbabwe is more than 40 years old yet we have one public broadcaster.  Does it mean that as a country we are not interested in inviting other public broadcasters to come and run these broadcasting stations?  Are there any specific challenges because this has gone on for a long time?  My belief is that it is one of the reforms that we want and it would even improve the economy of the country if such a development were to be done in Zimbabwe.  We require independent television stations.  I thank you

In response, Mutsvangwa said that Government is in the process of granting licences to private players who want to open new TV stations in the country.

She also revealed that the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) is also in the process of vetting applications for licences for community radio stations.

Mutsvangwa said:

We have also come up with the required processes, the statutory body that issues licences in the form of Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ).  It now has a board and has members in place.  It is now fully constituted and they are now looking into the process of issuing the participants.  Advertisements have been made, inviting people to come and take tender for these licences.  There are about 12 applicants who have submitted their applications.  It is work in progress.  We are very keen to have diverse content.  We are endowed in terms of talent, whether plays, films and other forms of media so that we can be able to tap out talent in all the various areas in Zimbabwe.  We are even going further than that to ensure that our people in the communities have licences for community radio stations.  All this is being done in fulfillment of the constitutional requirements that give access of information to everyone as a right.  So, it is important that we have these television stations.  Before the advent of COVID 19, I would have given you the number of licences that were going to be issued but about 15 have applied for commercial television stations.  I thank you.

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