Zimbabwe: New TV Station

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The television monopoly of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings could soon end following an announcement by a new pan-African satellite television station GTV that it intends to set up shop in Zimbabwe by mid-year. The television channel, a subsidiary of South Africa-based Gateway Communications, said it was going to roll out its services to people who have been unable to afford satellite subscription services, thus being limited to national free-to-air television channels. Apart from Zimbabwe, GTV is also set to penetrate other African markets, which include Malawi, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.

The revelation comes at a time when government has maintained solid gatekeeping of the broadcasting sector. It has maintained the loss-making ZBC's monopoly through the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA). The law was crafted under the stewardship of former Information minister, Jonathan Moyo. The legislation set up a statutory broadcasting regulatory body, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ), which is tasked with issuing licences. He told the Zimbabwe Independent in an interview that government had liberalised the airwaves and had no problems with new stations setting up shop as long as they met the broadcasting legislative requirements of the country.

The Independent