The traditional monopoly enjoyed by public broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC)’s sole television channel Ztv, is set to come to an end after the government said six private players are set to get licenced by the Government.

According to Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services minister Monica Mutsvangwa, there are six licences up for grabs from the first phase of the 15 applicants being considered by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ).

Mutsvangwa said this while responding to Midlands Senator Morgan Komichi who had questioned why it was taking too long for Government to introduce alternative television stations other than Ztv.

“The Second Republic prioritises reforms and with Zimbabwe boasting high literacy rate, citizens deserve diverse content, be it sport, culture, educational issues.That is what my ministry is spearheading since the inception of the Second Republic, as part of the reforms,” she said.

“The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe is now fully constituted and started by identifying the number and type of frequencies available. We have 12 licences up for grabs, but at the moment, we will be licensing six players. Applications have since been received and are now being considered,” Minister Mutsvangwa told parliamentarians.

She added that community radio stations will also be licensed.

“All that is being done in fulfilment of the Constitution, the right to information. Had it not been for Covid-19 related challenges, I would be telling you by when we will have completed the process. We have 15 applications for commercial television.”

The Zimbabwe Government is notoriously known for its viciousness on private media players.

Additional Reporting: Zwnews