Zanu-PF politicians on Kwese TV: Sudden progressive thinking or just usual politics?

Posted by Read 5 Comments

Yesterday, through an article in The Herald, some unnamed people (who are probably just either the media & broadcasting services ministry, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, or a media parastatal under the ministry) accused Dr. Dish of lobbying politicians in their drive to establish Kwese TV services in Zimbabwe.

If you have been following the stories around the Kwese TV launch and subsequent suspension of services from last week, then you probably know that two prominent politicians and government ministers uncharacteristically lended their voices in apparent support government letting Kwese TV operate.

On Friday 25 August, Saviour Kasukuwere, a senoir Zanu-PF member and Local Government minister, said a new TV alternative wasn’t a bad idea at all and questioned the government’s support of the DStv:

The next day, Jonathan Moyo, the Tertiary Education minister, and also a senoir Zanu-PF member, said it bluntly that the government own ZBC just “sucks”.

Essentially the two ministers echoed what Zimbabweans on social media had been saying that week; that it doesn’t make sense for government to protect the Multichoice Zimbabwe monopoly at the expense of a more competitive market where broadcasters work hard to earn customers and TV is cheaper and doesn’t suck.

To many people, the two Zanu-PF politicians speaking out progressively on the matter was random and quite unexpected, but still welcome.

But if you follow news in Zimbabwe, you probably know that politicians in the current governing political party, are not known to criticise government strategy and actions publicly when it doesn’t serve other political interests.

That is why the unnamed ‘players in the industry‘ quoted in a Herald article think this is not random and that some political lobbying must be taking place. In apparent reference to Moyo’s ZBC-really-sucks tweet, they said:

…there is frantic lobbying of political figures, whose entry into the whole equation baffles the mind. There is absolutely no relationship between the status and performance of ZBC and the category of licensing under which Dr Dish was considered.

While the possibility of lobbying is there in an enemy-of-my-enemy scenario, the way we see it, and we could be wrong, is that there’s no such lobbying of politicians going on in this case. But we also don’t think it is random thing that there’s a sudden rush progressiveness. 

George CharambaMultichoice ZimbabweKwese TV

George Charamba is Zimbabwe's presidential spokesperson as well as the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services.Charamba is one of the longest serving permanent secretaries in Mugabe’s government.He was reported to be the person using an assumed name Nathaniel Manheru which... Read More About George Charamba

Multichoice Zimbabwe is the Zimbabwean operation of the South African headquartered company Multichoice Africa. Multichoice Zimbabwe operates as a franchise and is registered under the name Skynet Pvt Ltd. The local company is the one in charge of the DStv pay TV operations in the... Read More About Multichoice Zimbabwe

Kwese TV is a Zimbabwean satellite and broadcasting network owned by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, under Econet Media. On 23 August 2017, Econet Media announced that Kwese TV was now available in Zimbabwe and that decoders were available at Econet Shops. However, that very same day... Read More About Kwese TV

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5 Comments

  1. Langton says:

    Surely I cant take Jonathan Moyo’s tweet as support for Kwese TV. Having followed all his tweets, he is hell bend to stop them. I concur on Kasukuwere there, but as you rightly said, its just their random personal views

  2. Mabutsu says:

    Isn’t it really good to promote one of our own than Dstv only?.Just too much of politics in this country

  3. Mabutsu says:

    Isn’t it wise to promote competition and one of our own?Too much of politics in this country.May God intervene.

  4. Intrigued says:

    An interesting point is kwese just using Dr dish to bypass paying license fees…. Can someone look into this…. Cause if they did not apply at all what is their game

    1. Pombi says:

      The License application laws are quite wierd….. U don’t just wake up and apply for a Broadcasting license but it BAZ Board who invites applications when they see it fit to open the airwaves….. And there hasn’t been any BAZ board since like 2012 or so

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