The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has granted six (6) new free-to-air television licences, a move that is expected to end decades of monopoly by the public broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).
Fourteen companies had applied for the licences but BAZ alleges that only six of the applicants met the minimum requirements.
Announcing the development on Friday morning, BAZ chairman, Mr Charles Sibanda said:
The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe wishes to advise the public that the process of licencing new television services has been completed.
The authority processed the applications in terms of the requirements of the Broadcasting Services Act [Chapter 12:06} including conducting public inquiries to determine applicant’s suitability to be issued with broadcasting services licences.
The new licensees shall have eighteen (18) months to rollout their plans and go on air, in line with section 11 (7) of the Broadcasting Services Act [Chapter 12:6].
In the event of failure to broadcast, the licences will be availed to other aspirants through a similar process.
The six companies awarded the licences are:
- Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Limited trading as ZTN,
- Rusununguko Media (Pvt) Ltd trading as NRTV,
- Jester Media trading as 3K TV,
- Acacia Media Group trading as Kumba TV,
- Fairtalk Communications trading as Ke Yona TV and
- Channel Dzimbahwe trading as Channel D.
The development which is in fulfilment of the 2013 Constitution comes as Zimbabwe is implementing the long overdue media reforms.