Zimbabwe to miss digitisation deadline
The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) on 11 June said Zimbabwe will miss the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) digital migration deadline set for 17 June 2015.
In an interview with the public broadcaster and key player in the migration process, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), the Chief Executive Officer, Engineer Obert Maganyura said the country had faced challenges relating to the delivery of digital equipment and delays in beginning of the civil works for the installation of the transmission network. He noted that the country will likely start receiving digital television broadcasts in November this year.
Muganyura, however, noted that Zimbabwe had complied with conditions set out by the ITU for nations that fail to meet the migration deadline of not interfering with the digital transmission of their neighbouring countries.
As noted by MISA-Zimbabwe’s first edition of the monitoring of the digital migration process, Digital Footprints, on 11 June, 2015, information relating to Zimbabwe’s digital migration has remained inadequate and shrouded in inconsistencies.
Representatives of the responsible Ministry, the Ministry of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services and the three players in the process, the ZBC, Transmedia and the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe have been quoted as saying that Zimbabwe would meet the ITU deadline.
These statements were against a contextual definition of compliance as presented by Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo before a joint portfolio committee meeting for the ICT and Media committees on 18 May, 2015. He defined compliance as the switching off analogue transmitters that cause interference to the digital television services of other countries, and the switching on of the digital transmitters at those sites to enable continuity of service provision. BAZ new position therefore further illustrates the inconsistencies in governments position on the process.
MISA-Zimbabwe also notes with concern the continued disregard for the need for clearer timelines on digitisation all of which could be made in consultation with other relevant stakeholders to the process. This would usher in an all inclusive approach to the process.
Koliwe Nyoni Majama, Media Institute of Southern Africa – Zimbabwe Chapter
Programme Officer – Broadcasting & IT
84 McChlery Ave, Eastlea, Harare
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.