Government will issue six television licences to independent players to improve diversity in information dissemination, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Mr Nick Mangwana has said.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the World Radio Day Commemorations, which were held in Gweru yesterday, Mr Mangwana said there were 40 community radio frequencies that were up for grabs.
He said the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) will soon invite applications for both television and community radio station licences.
“By the end of the year, in fact by August this year, our aim is to have at least six independent television channels,” he said.
“We are also availing six channels for the national broadcaster, ZBC, so all in all we will be having 12 television channels.
“The call out for applications will be announced soon.
“So, it is a challenge to ZBC, they have six channels and the onus is on them to produce enough content to feed into those channels.”
On community radio stations, Mr Mangwana said Government was prioritising marginalised areas such as Binga and Beitbridge.
Mr Mangwana said Government has put in place a mechanisms to support community radio stations.
“It is Government’s duty to make sure we help those community radios in terms of viability,” said Mr Mangwana.
“However, Government will only help those who would have successfully obtained licences.”
Mr Mangwana said community radios will not be allowed to air issues to do with politics.
“BAZ has been instructed to be monitoring community radios which would have been licensed,” he said.