The national broadcasting authority may soon be confused for the Blocking Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) if it continues on the blocking trajectory it has embarked on, warns #MondayBlues
It seems the regulatory authority knows how best to block new players, serve the struggling Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, as it continues to make broadcasting a nightmare for alternative players.
This move has serious national implications which are against the president’s drive towards the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe for economic recovery.
Hundreds of local Zimbabweans were already earning a living through installations and support service towards Kwese and the BAZ has flexed muscle to fight the new kid on the block.
Ironically , the same weapon of blockage was used against state owned telecommunications operator TelOne early this year as they wanted to launch their Video On Demand service.
The broadcasting regulatory appetite for licence fee is insanely high after regulating nothing but ZBC since inception as state maintained monolpoly over TV broadcasting.
The recent fight they took on against Kwese is illogical and driven by irrelevance, as they have already recieved payment from Dr Dish, who is the Kwese content aggregator.
Instead of welcoming alternative voices who are willing to pay against their dry coffers, BAZ would rather see the Kwese network pack out of the country, a move which is rather criminal especially against national development.
While its obvious that the Kwese service will create the much touted employment and allow the bond notes settlement for an international service, it boggles one’s mind if at all BAZ has Zimbabwe at heart.
If Kwese wins the war again through the courts the move will leave a serious debt on the Zimbabwean government which will be labeled retrogressive and against opening up of airwaves.
Instead of asking private players to fight for space,it’s also smarter to simply give it to them. Ironically some government officials have openly supported the Kwese entry to the market which indeed puts the government and Zanupf party in good light. The question then still remains, so who really is fighting Kwese?
Hopefully, Kwese will not be caught up in the Zanupf factional fights as we all know these always lead to a pyrich victory where a lose-lose deal will be penned at all costs.
In the mean time Zimbabweans who are willing to pay for quality content remain victims. The national broadcaster ZBC has failed to invest confidence forcing millions to buy entertainment from satellite providers while the ZBC is using the police force to force Zimbabweans to pay for licence fees.
Isn’t it not ironic that the Same viewers who do not want to pay the ZBC licence fees spent hours in queues waiting to pay for new decorders and subscription to a network they barely even know.
This is where we would have expected the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe to put so much focus on. Any licensed player must be forced to provide relevant and worthy while content to the viewers and failure to do so should be faced with punitive fines.
The efforts to slow down or frustrate new players serve no purpose in this digital era as millions have already thrown away the ZBC UHF antennas for satelite receivers.
By the way we were told that we were digitalising to receive high quality signal and hopefully better local content production, what happened to the millions assigned to the project and why are we still receiving the analogue signals.
Who will police the police when the BAZ continuously fails to deliver on its mandate while its most effort is on shutting down doors on alternative players. I guess an audit against BAZ and Transmedia subsidiaries should be instigated just to remind them on their main business and mandate. Once more again you are not the Blocking Authority of Zimbabwe, but regulator and enabler expected to play a fair and conscious arbitrator.