By Janet Munyaka
For the first time in 20 years, the national broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation will receive treasury support, with a financial package for the institution having been proposed in the 2021 budget to be presented this coming week.
For quite some time, ZBC has been facing challenges that have been weighing down on the national broadcaster’s capacity to deliver on some of its obligations.
This Sunday, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, who was accompanied by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Nick Mangwana, was at the ZBC headquarters in Highlands where she met members of the board and hinted on the financial package for ZBC.
“There is now light at the end of the tunnel of your current financial challenges. A lot has already been put in place to address issues like the legacy debt which is an albatross hanging on your necks. It has sapped your capacity to achieve much-needed progress.
“We are on the way to refurbish both radio and television studios as we retool and re-equip them with modern technology with utmost urgency. The government through the Office of the President and Cabinet is now at an advanced stage of procuring 20 vehicles for your operations,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
ZBC has six radio stations and one television channel with a 24-hour news station in the pipeline but some of the studios are still equipped with outdated equipment.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the coming in of six new players in the sector means the state broadcaster should position itself strategically to maintain its market share.
“You will be glad to know that there is now a programme in place supported by treasury through my ministry to revamp furniture, studio equipment and computers. The initiative will strive to provide fit for purpose work stations. For the first time in about 20 years, ZBC has been directly supported by the treasury.”
The Minister also took time to commend the corporation for fulfilling its mandate of informing the nation and disseminating correct information on Covid-19.
“I need to thank you all for your leadership during this trying period. ZBC was one of the institutions that lifted the national banner very high in our fight against the global existential threat of the Covid-19 pandemic. The right and proper information was the frontline weapon in waging the Covid-19 war.”
As frontline workers, several ZBC staff members tested positive to COVID-19 and the Minister was relieved that all the affected members recovered.
ZBC board chair Dr Josaya Tayi and ZBC Acting CEO, Ms Helliate Rushwaya attended the meeting.