Government blamed for failure to issue licenses

HARARE - The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has blamed the Ministry of Information and Publicity for the delays in the issuing of broadcasting licenses to private players and for community radio stations.
BAZ chairman Pikirayi Deketeke says the licensing authority submitted its recommen

dations on the enabling amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) to the Ministry. Deketeke said the amendments in question would make it much easier for would-be private broadcasters to meet the licensing requirements as opposed to the existing restrictive provisions under the BSA.
“It becomes difficult if we are to call for applications when we know those eager to apply fail to meet the criteria and requirements,” said Deketeke. We have made recommendations for the amendment of the BSA but we have not had any input from the ministry.
“The amendments we have recommended to the ministry will assist in allowing new players. As things stand it is difficult to accuse the BAZ of being in contempt of parliament or the Portfolio Committee on Transport and Communications,” he said.
No private players have been issued with broadcasting licenses since the enactment of the BSA in 2001.
Committee chairman Leo Mugabe said the BAZ was in contempt of court for failing to fulfill an undertaking it had given under oath following the expiry of the July deadline.
In its report tabled before parliament on 1 June 2006, the Committee conceded that the country’s broadcasting laws were prohibitive to the entry of private players. The BSA among other restrictions bans foreign funding and investment in the otherwise capital intensive broadcasting sector making it almost impossible for private players to set up television and radio stations.
The Committee recommended then that the BAZ should concentrate and focus on issuing licenses to private players especially for community radio stations. – MISA

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *