Update on Zimbabwe’s digitisation raises doubts about its “progress”- project 25% complete, down from 34% last year

Nigel Gambanga Avatar

Zimbabwe is making strides with the national digitisation programme which is firmly on track and the project is 25% complete.

That’s the latest on the analogue to digital migration exercise which Zimbabwe is working on as part of a global adoption of modern broadcast technology. According to the Herald, the update was shared by the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Dr Chris Mushowe at a content creators meeting.

These updates are meant to offer some indication as to how far the country is going in meeting the requirements for digital broadcasting set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

A number of complications such as inadequate funding, a failed attempt to secure capital through a deal with a struggling parastatal, and a contractor that’s been playing hardball by refusing to extend services in lieu of monies owed have all contributed to the project’s delay.

This has made updates on its progress, especially with all the information that was shared on how it would change television, something worth watching for.

However, if the information provided doesn’t add up, it raised doubts about the work that is actually being done to complete the project.

While progress in January 2017 has been set at 25% completion, just a year ago the government, in another update provided by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, announced that the project was 33.6 % complete. 

It’s fair to assume that the government is either unaware of how much work has been done or it’s just lying to citizens to cover up a serious case of project mismanagement.

The digitisation project is significant in a lot of ways. Not only does it have the potential to improve Zimbabwean TV particularly for those that cannot afford alternatives, but it could also create a lot of opportunities for local media and content creation. The benefits are potentially massive.

With so much at stake, it’s unfortunate that the government is either failing to deliver or choosing to give the impression that it has everything under control when there’s always a little bit more to suggest that the project’s completion is nowhere in sight.


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  2. Macd Chip

    Mushowe doesnt know anything, Charamba doesnt know anything, they have never been to BAZ offices to verify what to say before press( or do we have real press?)

    The gvt might have been right to say it was 34% done ie if you are only looking at the fact of equipment being bought and some being delivered.

    The truth which both BAZ and ministers will not tell you is that they bought very cheap Chinese junk. Some of the equipment they bought are already broke before they even do what they were bought hence the need to replace them and review the percentage of project finishing now down to 24% which l think is too high.

    There is not even a single part of that project which have been completed and working. Bt l can tell you that money is being chewed.

    This is the problem of assigning ministers who have no clue what their ministries is suppose to do. If you take Mushowe and show him a Econet base station and tell him that is a digital BS for the projecct, he will be bragging about it in the next cabinet meeting and gloating how the project is going well.

    That digitisation is as good as Vision 2020 which every Zanu Pf minister use to sing in the early 2000s, or recently the much hot air Zimasset!!

  3. 2020 blindness

    “…show him a Econet base station and tell him that is a digital BS for the projecct, he will be bragging about it in the next cabinet meeting…” You/someone you know actually did this, didn’t you? Lol, its hilariously sad that I can completely see this happening today in Zim!

    Back on topic, I agree with you on whats likely going on. Norway has started to push digital by fire by force and here we are stuck with regressing progress and seemingly unconcerned implementers.

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