Digital Satellite Television (DSTV) is currently assessing the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s (ZBC) 24-hour-news channel which will see the state broadcaster launching a free to air news channel accessible throughout the SADC region.
Speaking during the post-cabinet briefing in Harare this Tuesday, Minister of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa said the launch of the 24-hour news channel will increase access to local, relevant news and government policy information.
The minister also reported on the six priority projects under the 4th cycle 100-days plan for the ministry.
“This project seeks to facilitate the launch free to air news channel accessible throughout the country and SADC Region via DSTV to curb the coverage limitation of terrestrial transmission services. The assessment of the TV channel by Multichoice (DSTV) is underway. The signing of the contract and launch of the channel will be done after the assessment which is expected to lapse at the end of November.”
Senator Mutsvangwa said the installed Outdoor Public Viewing Screen (OPVS) at Nyika growth point in Bikita will access to TV services as well as keeping the community informed.
“To date, roofing sheets and the sound system for the OPVS has been procured. The project team is set to travel to Bikita at the end of November 2019 and will transport roofing sheets and electronic components for the OPVS. The team is expected to roof the OPVS, carry out electrical fittings as well as configure and test run the system. Connection to the national three-phase grid electricity will also be pursued with Bikita Rural District Council and Zesa.”
The ministry of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services has also managed to meet its set targets on the installation of FM transmission gap fillers which will improve radio reception in Tugwi Mukosi and Madlambuzi.
“The Ministry of Information was seized with providing a solution for radio reception for Madlambuzi(Matebeleland South) and Tugwi Mukosi(Masvingo). By day 50 of the cycle (4th November 2019) transmitter equipment and shelter for Madlambuzi had been delivered and subsequently installed at the site. Equipment delivery and installation at Tugwi Mukosi was done after day 50 of the cycle had lapsed as a result of challenges in accessing the remote site. To date, the project is complete at the two sites with the Madlambuzi community receiving the National FM signal while Tugwi Mukosi is receiving Radio Zimbabwe signal.”
The minister also said the construction of High Definition (HD) TV studio for use by independent producers would increase awareness and appreciation of the Zimbabwean culture through local content production.
“Independent producers are faced with a plethora of challenges, chief amongst them being the lack of HD TV production studio facilities for producing studio-based TV programmes. HD TV studio construction is capital intensive requiring huge sums of money that independent producers do not have even if they are to combine resources. This project, therefore, seeks to provide an HD TV studio producing facility for independent producers. This project was driven by low media access by marginalized societies in Zimbabwe. The project is meant to improve access to information on government policies, programs, and heritage issues. The projects will enable the active participation of citizens in community and national development programmes.”
“The goal for this cycle is to complete 74 episodes of the 10 TV production titles being carried out in Marondera, Nyanga, Beitbridge, Plumtree, Kariba and Victoria Falls. The project got off the ground amid some challenges such as price escalations which continued to affect budgets and planning. Four centers are almost through with filming with Marondera, Nyanga, Beitbridge, and Kariba expected to complete filming by the end of November 2019. Victoria Falls and Plumtree still need some additional time filming.” – ZBC