by Innocent Mujeri
The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has today awarded six free to air national commercial television licenses to applicants who had applied to operate independent television stations in Zimbabwe.
In a statement, BAZ Board Chairman Charles Manzi Sibanda said 14 applicants applied for TV licenses, however only six were successful.
“The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe wishes to advise members of the public that the process of licensing new television services has been completed. The Authority invited applications for the provision of free to air national commercial television broadcasting service license in February 2020 and received a total of 14 applications,” reads the statement.
Sibanda said that among the 14 applicants, licenses were given to six applicants which are Jester Media trading as 3K TV, Zimbabwe Newspapers trading as ZTN, Rusununguko Media trading as NRTV, Acacia Media Group trading as Kumba TV, Fairtalk Communications trading as Ke Yona TV and Channel Zimbabwe trading as Channel D.
Those awarded licenses are expected to start broadcasting within 18 months, failure to do so will see their licenses being revoked.
“The new licensees shall have 18 months to roll out their plans and go on air in line with section 11(7) of the Broadcasting Services Act. In the event of failure to broadcast, the licenses will be availed to other aspirants through a similar process,” said Sibanda.
Heart and Soul TV (HSTV), a subsidiary of Alpha Media Holdings, Continental Television, Conduit Investments, AB Communications, Just in Time TV and Medianet Productions had their applications for a TV license turned down.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Nick Mangwana said the awarding of six television licenses to independent companies was a “milestone achievement that should be celebrated.”
The six independent television channels that are expected to be operational soon are a testimony to the fulfillment of President Mnangagwa’s vision of opening the airwaves and implementing media reforms in the country.