By Bruce Chahwanda and Justin Mahlahla
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity And Broadcasting Services, Mr Nick Mangwana, says media reforms are on course, despite obstacles such as high registration fees, polarisation and regulatory vacuums, among others.
He was appearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services today, accompanied by the Chief Director, Mr Jonathan Gandari.
Mr Mangwana said all the newsprint used is imported which is a challenge as media houses are supposed to approach the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for the auction system.
“With high operating costs, the journalists suffer the most as they get low salaries, It is a big concern to the Ministry because it brings corruption. If we can somehow curtail runaway costs, we can deal with the prevalence of being ‘Journalists for Hire’,” he said.
He added, “We licenced a number of television players in November 2020 and they are yet to go live. They need to import equipment. Broadcasting is capital intensive, though some of the licences are still within range of 18 months grace period.”
Mr Mangwana said the media sector is highly competitive and needs good technology as it has become transnational and borderless.
He also spoke on the progress made to date in media reforms.
“In two and half years, we repealed AIPPA, licenced television stations, campus radio stations. We have made strides towards depolarising the media. We are not yet there but we are going somewhere.”