The Broadcastsing Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) is today expected to announce six new national TV licences, from fourteen applicants who have made it to the shortlist, however, only six licences on offer.

According to reports, the strongest pitches during the public hearings were from ZTN, Fairtalk, it is also expected that Zimbabwe Defence Force’s Rusununguko Nkululeko is going to be licensed.

The shortlist of applicants is in alphabetical order: AB Communications, Acacia Media Group, Black Berry Zimbabwe, Channel Dzimbahwe, Conduit Investments, Continental TV, Fairtalk Communications, Heart and Soul, Jester Media Services, Just In Time TV, Media Net Productions, Meditation Investment, Rusununguko Media, and Zimbabwe Newspapers.

Meanwhile, critics believe that the current shortlist is already dominated by those linked to government.

However, as stated by the government in a number of cases, there were not many applications from new private players with capacity from the start.

The government has been under criticism for suffocating the airwaves, over the years only private stations linked to the state have been given licences to operate, an increase of its moutpieces according to analysts.

Commenting on the matter, political analyst Dr Pedzisai Ruhanya, says it remains to be seen if the airwaves will be liberalised.

“Let’s see if there is going to be a real television broadcasting liberalization or surrogates of the ruling elites will get licenses,” he says.