DStv is not the problem, government’s restriction of the media is

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The Zimbabwean government always has someone to blame for their wrong policies.

Just yesterday, the RBZ governor John Mangudya noted that DStv payments were one of the major drivers towards the externalisation of foreign currency through MultiChoice remittances to its parent company in South Africa.

According to them, over US$200 million was exported to South Africa in 2016. But the problem they have failed to solve over the past years is their politics.

Several local broadcasters have over the years failed to acquire broadcasting licences from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting Services leaving the public with no choice but to rely on Free to Air decoders or to those who can afford it Pay TV in the form of MultiChoice the company that owns DStv.

Others who are privileged with unlimited broadband or fibre have sought Video on Demand (VOD) in the form of ShowMax and the popular Netflix.

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It’s not a secret that the media and entertainment industry is one of the biggest forms of revenue for governments across the world in this modern globalised world.

Just recently, Econet Media rolled out its Kwese TV in a number of African countries excluding Zimbabwe. The company is yet to get broadcasting permissions locally hence the launch in other African countries first.

The reason for their exclusion in the country is still unknown but our past history has always linked media and broadcasting to politics. The more the media houses are available for the public, the less viewership or listenership is for the state-controlled media.

As it is, MultiChoice is rated as one of the most valuable companies in Africa that has created thousands of jobs within the continent and is enjoyed by millions of viewers across the globe.

On the contrary, the Zimbabwean government would rather close its doors for such a multi-million dollar industry inside their land for political reasons. Imagine if the late Joshua Nkomo hadn’t intervened for Econet to be granted its telecoms license then how many millions of dollars will be the same government be losing in potential revenue?

It’s high time the government wakes up and be driven by economic rather than political interests in its policies.

This article was written by James Katso, a media and political analyst who can be contacted on [email protected]



14 Comments

  1. Zimcadre says:

    The heading is spot on!

  2. Justin says:

    But, but, but Kwese TV is also foreign, just like Liquid, Econet Global. Just coz Stive is a Zimbabwean does not mean his companies are Zimbabwean. They are from Mauritius

    1. Macd Chip says:

      He made them foreign because they are not welcome in his own land, it is that simple!

      Mauritius is business friendly thats why his companies are being registered there.

    2. Mercy says:

      Wake up please. I am tired of ignorant Zimbabweans. We are suppose to be the most literate country in Africa. WAKE UP.

    3. John Bond says:

      If Kwese, Liquid and Econet are foreign entities are foreign so what? We don’t give a damn whether the company offering the services we need is locally owned or not!

  3. Gerald says:

    Ichi ichokwadi ichi. Justin, remember 2013 when government refused kwese to register locally? Or 1994 when they told Dstv they couldn’t HQ in Zimbabwe? Yeah. Same thing

    1. muvig says:

      It would have been us getting getting the forex.

  4. Macd Chip says:

    There was time when l used to give Mangudya benefit of doubt. That is all gone now.

    Not because of what he do during his working office hours, but he gets up to after working hours. What sort of Governor who hangs out with money changers during night and in the morning you put a straight face and claim to be working towards sorting out the country.

    If the security services do not have the information, which by the way, pictures of him are all over twitter with money changers, then we might as well not have any cio, cid or anything called security service.

  5. Shumbaimwe says:

    This country is led by an ignorant, cruel and selfish leadership without a vision. They refused Multichoice the licence in the 90’s, they are now jealous all money is going to SA.

    1. Macd Chip says:

      Most of them cannt see beyond their nose! That is the reason why they cannt run an successful business outside Zanu Pf.

      Look at that Zanu Pf MP who was trying to make Zim football team arrested and thrown into prison for failure in AFCON.

      The same minister is in the business of smuggling fuel. Is he in jail or even questioned for it?

  6. Tomboy says:

    Every Zimbabwean has a fundamental right to access media,Multi-choice included and the bottom line is every Zimbabwean has a right to pay for their DSTV if they have the cash,Is the RBZ Governor watching ZTV?

  7. Tichaona says:

    It is also worth noting that our respectable government denied DStv the right to set up its HQ in Zimbabwe. All that forex must have been coming to Zimbabwe in the first place. Poor leadership decisions cost Zim big time.

  8. Gregor says:

    Spot on, lost opportunity because of useless politicians who just think of lining their pockets, imagine the lost employment, taxes – This government has destroyed Generations

  9. Gonorenda says:

    Information minister rejects applications for satellite broadcasting licences
    12 July 2002

    (MISA/IFEX) – The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) and Minister of Information and Publicity Professor Jonathan Moyo have rejected applications for satellite broadcasting licences submitted by two Zimbabwean companies.

    In an April 2002 gazette, BAZ invited prospective satellite broadcasters to apply for satellite broadcasting licenses. Zimbabwean companies Trans Africa Satellite Network (TransNet) and Munhumutapa African Broadcasting Corporation (MABC) had submitted applications. However, Moyo, who has the final say on all applications, has denied both requests for a license.

    Lovemore Mukono, TransNet’s chief executive officer, confirmed this week in an interview with the “Financial Gazette” that the company “did not get the licence [they] had applied for from the broadcasting authority.”

    In a letter to TransNet, BAZ Chairperson Rose Mazula reportedly stated that BAZ does not have the power to issue licences. Mazula was quoted in the “Financial Gazette” as saying, “We must stress that the authority does not have the power at law to vary a decision of the minister in respect of the issuance of licences.”

    Efforts by MISA-Zimbabwe to get a comment from Mazula and other BAZ officials were fruitless. The organisation received no response from written questions sent to the broadcasting authority.

    MISA-Zimbabwe notes that BAZ’s statement regarding the issuing of licences gives further credence to the criticism that the Broadcasting Services Act gives the minister too much power. Under the act, the minister is not obliged to give any reason for rejecting a licence application. Moreover, an appeal against his decision is not entertained.

    Despite the Broadcasting Services Act having been in existence since 4 April 2001, no private broadcaster has been licensed to date. The state broadcaster maintains its monopoly on the airwaves.
    https://www.ifex.org/zimbabwe/2002/07/12/information_minister_rejects_applications/

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