Econet, Zimpapers and AMH broadcasting licences illegal: MP

Monica Mutsvangwa

HARARE – THE Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services violated the law by awarding broadcasting licenses in the absence of a Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) board, Parliament heard.

The BAZ board is mandated, among other functions, to invite and consider applications for all broadcasting licenses and it is yet to be constituted.

In December 2017, parliament had only shortlisted 12 candidates, of which six were to be considered by President Emmerson Mnangagwa for appointment to sit on BAZ.

Despite the absence of a BAZ board, some companies in the last few months received webcasting and video-on-demand licenses.

In May 2018, Econet Zimbabwe issued notices in the local print media announcing that it had acquired three Media Service Licences, which were: a Video-on-Demand Licence, a Webcasting Licence, and a Content Distribution Licence.

Econet said these licenses were issued by BAZ in terms of Section 10 of the Broadcasting Services Act.

Zimpapers was also awarded a content distribution license, reported to have been approved by the authority.