By Tafadzwa Muranganwa
HONDE VALLEY – Villagers in here have expressed disappointment over the non-functioning radio and television transmitter which was installed two years ago.
The mountainous area which in Mutasa district, Manicaland is among the country’s vast areas where radio and television signals are erratic leaving some communities relying on signals from Mozambique and Zimbabwe’s alternative media platforms.
However, when government installed a transmitter at the highest peak of Mukunda mountain in Gwiriri village a few years ago many celebrated that their woes were coming to an end but their hopes have been dashed as it still awaits to function.
Speaking to Radio VOP , David Chedu from Chipupuri village says he hardly listens to local radio stations despite owning a radio set because of the ordeal he has to go through to get clear signals and was hopeful that this could be eased after the installation of the transmitter and much advertised digitisation.
“I rarely listen to our radio stations because I cannot stand the difficulties of getting clear radio signals so most of the times I am playing content from my memory card.
“When we heard about the installation of the transmitter we all thought all was in place for us to now listen to our own radio stations but the hopes have since diminish,” said an irate Chedu.
Another villager Tafadzwa Mutsopotsi from Manzero village who is an avid football fan is worried that with the coming AFCON tournament in July in Egypt he is going to watch the matches at a local business centre where one bar has satellite access.
“I am going to be risking walking during the night to watch the Warriors play in the AFCON tournament at Makunike business centre where the bar has a satellite television because I can’t view our own TV set because of ‘showers’ (poor quality TV pictures),” he revealed .
Transmitters are being installed by Transmedia and Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe(BAZ) under government’s digitisation programme which is reportedly behind schedule.
Last year while appearing before a parliamentary committee on information , publicity and broadcasting services, permanent secretary in the ministry of information, publicity and broadcasting services, Nick Mangwana told the committee that government is in need of $100 million to complete the digitisation programme.
Also needed for the programme are set-top boxes which allow a digital signal to be received, decoded and displayed on a television and according to BAZ chief executive officer Engineer Obert Muganyura , approximately 1,5 million set-top boxes would be needed for households to become digitised.