THE second republic is living up to its promises, with the licensing of six television stations this Friday being part of the media reforms agenda government has pledged to pursue.
In a landmark development, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) this Friday announced the arrival to the broadcasting scene of six free to air National Commercial Television stations that have been awards licences.
Jester Media trading as 3k TV, Zimbabwe Newspapers 1980 Limited trading as ZTN, Rusununguko Media trading as NRTV, Acacia Media group Pvt Ltd trading as Kumba TV, Fairtalk communications trading as Ke Yona TV and Channel Dzimbahwe Pvt LTD trading as Channel D will now join the national broadcaster, ZBC in providing television broadcasting services to Zimbabweans.
BAZ Board Chairperson, Mr Charles Manzi Sibanda, who announced the six new entries in television broadcasting sector during a press conference in Harare this Friday, clarified the processes leading to the awarding of the licences, while the authority’s CEO clarified how the public will access the new channels.
For government, this is a milestone achievement for the country, with the second republic having put media reforms top of its priorities.
With the country having its first television station in 1960, the government has often been criticised for presumed lack of political will to open up the airwaves.
However, the new dispensation under the leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has been reforming the media sector, with the licensing of new players being part of the reforms.
Already, the government has either repealed or amended media laws such as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) to ensure the media industry operates without impediments.