The illegimate Zimbabwean government has said no political party will be given a broadcasting licence in Zimbabwe as the sector is a national security threat, amid manoeuvres from the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) to launch a channel on DStv.
The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) is the sole issuer of broadcasting licences and MultiChoice, as a legally licensed broadcaster will not be an accomplice to an illegal channel which contravenes the Zimbabwean laws.
According to the BAZ Act, Part IV, Section 20, no political party or organisation shall hold or have control of any broadcasting licence or signal carrier licence.
In an interview, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Deputy Minister, Kindness Paradza said the Government’s policy was not to issue broadcasting licences to political parties.
“MultiChoice is licenced and they are aware of the rules and regulations governing broadcasting in Zimbabwe so they will not be an accomplice to an illegal or pirate channel. We are sure MultiChoice will not be persuaded to carry an illegal channel on its platform.
So far, our policy is not to issue broadcasting licences to political parties considering this is a finite national asset which cannot be issued out willy nilly. We have many political parties in this country, so if we are to give licences to all of them, our allocated spectrum will be full and we will not have any space left for future generations.
So simply put it’s a no. Even the ruling party Zanu-PF has not been issued with a broadcasting licence,” said Deputy Minister Paradza.
“It must be noted that broadcasting is a national security threat if abused like what happened in Rwanda in 1994, when its radio was used to incite genocide against the Tutsis. As a responsible Government, we want to guard against that and protect our people from an unscrupulous and unpatriotic section in our society,” added the Deputy Minister.
On Tuesday last week, CCC secretary-general Mr Charlton Hwende, writing on Twitter, insinuated that his party was keen on launching a television channel ahead of elections next year.
“To launch a truly independent channel on DSTV Channel you need monthly fees of around $8 000. Let’s do it Zimbabwe we are left with only 12 months before the election, so we need $96 000 and we free the Airwaves,” wrote Mr Hwende.
Deputy Minister Paradza said according to the Electoral law, during the election period each political party is allocated free time on the national broadcaster to sell their ideas and manifestos.
“According to our Electoral law, during the election period, each political party is allocated free time on the national broadcaster, ZBCtv to sell their respective ideas and manifestos. They can also advertise. However, we noticed that during the last by-elections some of the contesting political parties, CCC, in particular, refused to take up their allocated free slots to sell their ideas on ZBC,” said Dep Minister Paradzayi.
Source :Captured Chronicle