Zimbabwe will have six television stations by December, controversial Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Energy Mutodi has said.
The southern African nation currently has only one TV station run by sole public broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) amid a flurry of false promises and missed deadlines.
“Government has initiated on a sustainable digitalisation programme,” Mutodi told legislators during Wednesday National Assembly deliberations.
“The programme as I am speaking now is half-way complete and will be completed this year as we continue to engage partners such as Huawei and other partners to ensure that by the end of this year, we have more than six television stations and an increase in the number of radio stations. So far, a significant amount of work has already been covered as television stations have already been licensed by the Zimbabwe Media Commission and are just waiting the completion of the digitalisation programme for them to kick-start their work. I thank you,” he added.
Zanu PF Chegutu West legislator Dexter Nduna had asked the Information and Publicity ministry “how far we are in terms of the programme of digitalization.”
“How far are we from the programme of digitalisation and the expansion of our airwaves and frequencies?” he queried, adding “are you aware that Parliament is also supposed to benefit according to Section 141 of the Constitution in the digitalisation process?”
In 2015, government promised the introduction of a range of new channels on ZBC in less than four months of that year, a promise which remains a pipeline dream.
Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers) Limited has been gearing up to launch its television station since February last year.