ZBC asks courts to arrest millions of TV/radio viewers

Regulation & Policy

The state controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has approached the country’s judges pleading for the arrest of millions of people resisting to pay radio and television licenses.

“We are broke because our source of funds comes from licenses and we are owed millions of dollars by viewers and listeners. We do not have a proper tracking mechanism to thousands of tickets we are issuing daily. The problem we are having is our police and judiciary are not cooperating with us,”a senior ZBC  Manager  who requested not to be named told ZimEye,

ZBC is demanding US$30 per year from motorists with radio receivers, US$50 for television and radio house hold owners.

The Official said during their engagement with the judiciary it emerged that it needs more than two months for it to clear millions of  ZBC radio and television license defaulters. “They said they do not have the manpower to deal with our cases, and promised to accommodate us”, he said.

The bankrupt state broadcaster in an effort to raise income from the resisting public, has dispatched officers at police roadblocks, car parks, to collect listeners and viewers licenses.

The ZBC official said the company needs the revenue to cover for ZANU (PF) propaganda programmes which ‘are not being paid for’. He said advertisers were shunning the broadcaster because of the programs.

“We cannot talk of adverts here as advertisers are no longer forthcoming. Flow of funds is deteriorating and we are failing to pay our workers in time – the reason why we are paying our workers in batches,” he added.

Zimbabweans have to date been reluctant to pay radio and television licences arguing that they have abandoned the state broadcaster due to propaganda transmitted on a daily basis.

The issue of the freedom of the airwaves has remained outstanding issue in the global political pact, as the ZANU (PF) side of the inclusive government refuses to release its control on ZBC.