MP files notice of motion to repeal BSA

The MP for Magwegwe Honourable Anele Ndebele has tabled before Parliament a notice of motion to repeal the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) in line with Section 61 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

radio-broadcast250In tabling the notice MP Ndebele said the legislation is falling short in regulating the industry in the face of the disruptive changes emanating from the digital migration process.

According to the Votes and Proceedings of the National Assembly, 23 November 2016, the notice reads:

“Noting that the process of digital migration as outlined by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has surgically changed and transformed the broadcasting industry in terms of the spectrum size and management in Zimbabwe;    

Noting that the current legislation is inadequate in its scope in addressing emerging issues resulting from this process;

Further noting that the Ministry of Information Media and Broadcasting has conceded and acknowledged that the Broadcasting Services Act and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act need to be amended in line with the emerging trends born out of the digital migration process and the dynamics of listenership and readership of the media products;

Disturbed that despite the provisions of the Broadcasting Services Act in  Section 61(3) which guarantee freedom of establishment of broadcasting media subject to licensing conditions that are necessary, Zimbabwe still does not have the 3-tier broadcasting system fourteen  years after the promulgation of the Act;

Cognisant that the many community broadcasters are eagerly expecting invitations for license applications as evidenced by the existence of different local communities that have been awaiting that development;

Worried that Section 10 of the Act is prohibitive as it gives discretional powers to decide when to call for licenses without necessary safeguards to curb abuses that may be detrimental to some classes of licenses as is currently the case with community broadcasters;

Aware that the Constitution of Zimbabwe (2013) provides for freedom of Expression, the media; and the right of access to information under section 62, Hence the need for the revision of legislation that regulates broadcasting;

Concerned that under the Act the appointment process of the BAZ Board undermines best practices and requirement that State Licensing Authority and procedures should be independent of control by government, political or commercial interests.

Further concerned that the appointment procedures and processes under the Broadcasting Services Act are not sufficiently transparent to guarantee the independence of BAZ Board and its decisions.

Now, therefore, calls upon:

  1. a) The Executive to urgently table a Bill to comprehensively amend or repeal the Act,
  2. b) Facilitate public to  participation in the processes as  a key benchmark outlined in regional and international instruments on broadcasting:
  3. c) Clearly state what percentage of the broadcasting fund goes to local content production.”

The notice of motion was seconded by MP for Mabvuku constituency, James Maridadi. Both MPs are members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Broadcasting Services.

Post published in: Featured

Leave a Reply

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