Legislators from both sides of the political divide have concurred that the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) risks becoming irrelevant if it does not keep up with technological trends in the industry.
BAZ CEO, Obert Muganyura came under fire when giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services when legislators argued that with the authority’s lack of technological competence, it is just a matter of time before it is rendered totally irrelevant.
The legislators also challenged the BAZ’s conclusion that it will only licence community radio stations after March 2016, arguing that such a delay is only fuelling independent radio stations that have become an alternative for many information hungry Zimbabweans, especially those in the rural areas.
As the regulator in the information, media and broadcasting services industry BAZ has the sole statutory obligation to regulate over the industry.
To date, the authority has given licences to eight commercial radio stations and says it is awaiting the issuing of more players when the digitalisation project is completed in March 2016.