IN A significant milestone for the country, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) yesterday licensed six commercial television stations — ending 60 years of monopoly by the State broadcaster, the ZBC.
Among the newly-licensed stations is 3K TV— a sister operation to Zimbabwe’s iconic and number one business newspaper, The Financial Gazette.
Other licencees are Rusununguko Media, Fairtalk Communications, Zimpapers Television Network (ZTN), Channel Dzimbahwe’s Channel D and Acacia Media Group.
Addressing the media yesterday, BAZ chairper son Charles Manzi Sibanda said the process to license the six had gone on smoothly.
“The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe wishes to advise 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 licences in February 2020 and received a total of 14 applications.
“The authority processed the applications in terms of the requirements of the Broadcasting Services Act, including conducting public enquiries to determine the applicants’ suitability to be issued with broadcasting service licences.
“The authority has completed processing the applications and the final adjudication,” Sibanda said yesterday at a short media function in Harare.
“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 licences will be availed to other aspirants through a similar
“The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe would like to express appreciation to all those who showed interest, and indeed the general public, for actively participating in this historic process of facilitating the opening up of broadcasting airwaves for multiplicity in television services.
“Congratulations Zimbabwe for this milestone!” Sibanda said.
An elated Pilate Machadu, the Group CEO of Jester Media — the owners of 3K TV — said the company’s successful bid for a national commercial television licence marked an escalation in its plans for a new era of growth.
“We are delighted by this news.
Our gratitude goes to our loyal staff for believing in themselves, working so hard on this project and setting their sights high, resulting in us winning this licence.
“We also want to thank and give credit to the authorities, including Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa and BAZ, for successfully superintending over this difficult process which many critics thought would never happen.
“With this TV licence now in the bag, the future of our company is even brighter, with our group stronger than ever before despite the current challenging operat ing environment,” Machadu said.
This comes as the government has since repealed the controversial Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa), replacing it with three separate legal instruments as part of necessary media reforms.
In July, President Emmerson Mnangagwa signed into law the new Freedom of Information Act
after it sailed through Parliament. The new Act is a significant step forward in the country’s quest to improve its legislative framework.