Harare East legislator Tendai Biti yesterday took Deputy Information Minister, Kindness Paradza to task over the continued monopoly of ZBC saying the rest of the world had moved on and established multiple channels while Zimbabwe remained stuck with one television station.
Below is Biti’s question to Paradza;
HON. BITI: I seek clarification from the esteemed Minister, Hon. K. Paradza why 42 years after independence, we still have one broadcasting house, the ZBC. It is an eyesore and wherever we go, we are asked that question. Why can we not have air waves being liberalised so that there are multiple entrants in broadcasting? Every other country in the region and I know Mr. Speaker, you were in the region thanking fellow parliamentarians for voting for Hon. Chief Charumbira.
Countries like Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and Botswana have multiple broadcasting houses. Surely, Zimbabwe deserves that. Secondly, when you go to border towns like Dande and Chiredzi, people in Dande actually listen and watch television from Mozambique and as you go towards Kanyemba area, they listen from Zambia, the same applies to mobile networks. Why is it taking so long to ensure that there is infiltration of local broadcasting in those areas?
The migration from analogue to digital, it will take us 100 years to fully migrate from analogue to digital yet digital is also not just about broadcasting but also about education because there has now been convergence of technology and digital migration allows students, schools and universities to actually learn using digital migration. So I urge the Government and the Minister to put resources towards migration because migration converges a lot of interest including education and health.
Lastly, it is Section 60 and 61 of the Constitution. You see the same faces on ZBC at 8 o’clock every day. You see a man and his wife every day from 8 o’clock to 10 o’clock. There must be objectivity so that we see alternative voices, views and faces on ZBC. ZBC is funded by taxpayers and taxpayers deserve to see everyone whether you are red, green or yellow, the current situation of subjectivity and of closure of other voices is unconstitutional and unnecessary. I thank you and seek clarification from Hon. Paradza.
In Response, Paradza said the country was yet to move from analogue to digital and was not even halfway through despite the headline having been set in 2017.