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

   

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.

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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.

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 digitalrepublic@dr.com


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