Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Ndavaningi Nick Mangwana said the government will start issuing licenses for new television stations to both private and public players this year.
Mangwana told journalists on the sidelines of the World Radio Day commemorations on Thursday in Gweru.
He said that his ministry is ‘ready and willing’ to give six television licenses to independent players and the other six to the national broadcaster, ZBC.
‘’By the end of the year, in fact, by August this year, our aim is to have at least six independent television channels. We are also availing six channels for the national broadcaster, ZBC so all in all, we will be having 12 television channels,” he said.
The Secretary also challenged ZBC to improve on their broadcasting as there will be six other stations competing with them.
Meanwhile, the Media Institute of Southern Africa Zimbabwe has urged the government to urgently prioritise the transformation of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.
Adding that, allocation of an additional six channels to ZBC given its current state of affairs, and without implementing its long-overdue transformation, would only serve to perpetuate ZBC’s failure to fulfil its public service mandate.
“MISA Zimbabwe, therefore, urges government to institute and implement a practical ZBC turnaround strategy that will see the public broadcaster produce and broadcast modern, quality and relevant public interest programming.”