The Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa, said that the government is “working very hard” to open up the airwaves.
Speaking before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Mutsvangwa said that the government intend to issue six licences before the end of this year. She said:
The Second Republic is working very hard to make sure we open the airwaves, freedom of expression is very important, we have very educated people and we need those people to release their energies and bring new ideas on board which will take this country where we want it to be as a people.
We are working very hard to ensure that we are also able to license a number of players to bring that variety.
It is important and the Broadcasting Services Act which is being amended will enable BAZ to issue licences to several partners so that we give variety to our people.
We are hoping that this will be possible in 2019 and we can actually issue like six licences.
Mutsvangwa was accompanied by Secretary in the ministry, Nick Mangwana, Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe chief executive Obert Muganyura and his ZBC counterpart Patrick Mavhura.
The country has only one Television station (ZBCtv) whose quality of programming leaves a lot to be desired.
In the past 39 years, the government has steadfastly refused to give broadcasting licences to private players.
Observers have attributed this reluctance to the government’s desire to control the airwaves for propaganda purposes.