Govt sets aside $18 million for decoders in next stage of digital migration

Nigel Gambanga Avatar

We are not yet done with the entire digital migration process, but a lot of progress is being made. That was the general sentiment from updates shared on the digitisation exercise by the Secretary for Media, Information and broadcasting Services, George Charamba.

In an interview with the Sunday Mail, Charamba mentioned that a distributor for the 400,000 set top boxes necessary for digital migration had been identified, with the help from Huawei, and an order had been placed, with the transaction set to cost $18 million.

A rough calculation of those figures puts the average unit cost of each set top box at $45, a figure that would put the ZBC set top box at around the same price, or slightly cheaper than a standard 1132 DStv decoder

Another development related to digital migration has been the securing of satellite access from French broadcast and telecoms firm, Eutelsat.

For an initial payment of $900,000 and a future annual subscription of $1,2 million, Zimbabwe has paid for a transponder that will enable broadcasting through satellite services. According to Charamba, this means that broadcasting via satellite will not be sub-contracted to South African firms as has been the case in the past.

So far the digital migration project, which has roped in the active participation of key stakeholders like ZBC, The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, Transmedia and the Ministry of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services, has cost $22 million. Some of these resources have been directed to the acquisition of shows for the new channels that will be available courtesy of expanded capacity.


  1. deadbc

    Are you kidding me? They are wasting their money and efforts trying to broadcast via satellite. No one is going to be watching their it!

    1. macd chip

      Do not get worked up by this announcement! It is just that, a mere announcement. Nothing more.

      These ministers trip over each other to announce and zero action.

      And our news hunters do not help as they do not ask hard questions.

      1. musa

        sadly true

  2. macd chip

    Is Charamba gvt?

    Is Supa gvt?

    If every minister, perm sec are identified as gvt, how many gvts do we have?

  3. Chapwititi

    Where are they getting the money to do all this when companies are closing and people are losing their jobs. It is like sending your wife to go and buy food for the family, instead she buys lipstick. Again a lot of us are going hungry and someone gives us ice cream. What does Zanu PF think it is doing? Anyway, wait until the decoders arrive and you will be surprised how inflated the subscriptions will be. By the way, what has happened to the look east policy??? The present day government thinks it is leading ECD children.

  4. Khal Drogo

    Even handed free of charge, I won’t accept this decoder. Too much propaganda 🙁

    1. fourwallsinaroom

      funny enough. i find myself watching the late night movies. they bring back memories – you cant find torrents of some of the stuff they show lol.

  5. Vakuru

    Whenever ‘government’ is mentioned, I think about:
    – electricity
    – jobs
    – corruption
    – old age
    – rigging
    – diamonds

    so many things that make u say ‘nxa’. then in the second paragraph they say they are setting aside 18million. yabvepi? ma decoder acho ano onekwa nani isu tisina magetsi.


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