Honde Valley’s hopes for improved radio and television signals diminish

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.