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The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) is the regulatory authority for broadcasting in Zimbabwe. BAZ was established through an Act of Parliament in 2001 providing for the functions, powers and duties of the authority. BAZ falls under the Minister of Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services. BAZ issues licenses to television and radio broadcasting companies in Zimbabwe.

Vision of BAZ

To become the effective facilitator and regulator to national instruments and institutions for projecting a great and united Zimbabwe based on African identity and values through broadcasting. Cite error: The opening <ref> tag is malformed or has a bad name

Mission Statement of BAZ Reads

  • To create an environment that promotes the development of a local dynamic broadcasting industry, which provides quality services, that are universally available and affordable.
  • To effectively manage the licensing process and the broadcasting frequency spectrum to safeguard public interest and national sovereignty.
  • To ensure compliance with the law as well as international telecommunications and broadcasting treaties to which Zimbabwe is a signatory to.
  • To cooperate with other national and international regulatory bodies.
  • To develop and retain highly motivated employees through recognition of effort, opportunities for personnel development and competitive rewards.[1]

BAZ Functions Are Listed As

  • to plan and advise on the allocation and and distribution of the available frequency spectrum ,for which purpose it shall have regard to the provisions for the planning of broadcasting service bands
  • to advise the minister on the adoption and establishment of standards and codes relating to equipment attached to broadcasting systems
  • to receive, evaluate and consider applications for the issue of any broadcasting license or signal carrier license
  • to monitor tariffs charged by broadcasting licensees with a view to eliminating unfair business practices among such licensees and to protect the interests of consumers
  • to advise the Minister on ways of improving and promoting a regulatory environment that will facilitate the development of a broadcasting industry in a Zimbabwe that is efficient, competitive and responsive to audience needs and the national interests
  • to encourage diversity in the control of broadcasting services
  • to ensure that Zimbabweans have effective control of broadcasting services or systems
  • to ensure the role of broadcasting services and systems in developing and reflecting a sense of Zimbabwe identity, character and cultural diversity
  • to promote the provision of high quality and innovative programming by providers of broadcasting services
  • to encourage providers of commercial and community broadcasting services and systems to be responsive to the need for a fair and accurate coverage of matters of public interest and for an appropriate coverage of matters of local significance
  • to encourage providers of broadcasting services and systems to respect community standards and values in the provision of programme material
  • to ensure the provision of means for addressing complaints about broadcasting services
  • to ensure that the providers of broadcasting services places a high priority on the protection of children from exposure to programme material which may be harmful to them
    and
  • to ensure compliance with the Broadcasting Service Act Chapter (12:06) and license conditions and, where empowered, to enforce the provisions of this Act;
  • to monitor and track the use of the broadcasting service bands;
  • generally ,to advice the Minister on all matters relating to broadcasting systems and services;
  • subject to this act, carryout any function or act as may be prescribed by the Minister. Cite error: The opening <ref> tag is malformed or has a bad name

Types of BAZ Licenses

  • a commercial broadcasting service;
  • a community broadcasting service;
  • a subscription satellite broadcasting service;
  • a subscription cable broadcasting service;
  • a subscription narrowcasting service;
  • an open narrowcasting service (does this include Blue Tooth?);
  • a datacasting service;
  • a roadcasting service;
  • a railcasting service;
  • a webcasting service;
  • content distribution service;
  • video on demand. Cite error: The opening <ref> tag is malformed or has a bad name

BAZ Licenses Issued

TV

In November 2020, 3K TV was was awarded a license. 3K TV was a sister operation to the business newspaper, The Financial Gazette. The television station is owned by Jester Media (Pvt) Ltd. [2]

Radio

  • Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC)
  • AB Communications (Operators of ZiFM Stereo)
  • Zimbabwe Newspapers Group (Operators of Star FM, Diamond FM

Events

On 23 August 2017, BAZ announced that it had cancelled the license of Dr. Dish because the company had failed to provide the My TV Africa Service. However after a legal battle the license was restored.

In April 2021 Kindness Paradza, deputy Information Minister, said three applicants who applied and were awarded broadcasting licenses last year (November 2020) were struggling to pay for their licence fees. The deadline was 21 January 2021. A grace period was offered to June to settle the issue lose their licenses. Paradza, however, declined to mention the struggling three stations.

The six new entrants were;

Others were;

BAZ requirements are that a TV station granted a license must pay a basic licence fee for 10 years at US$15 000 per annum plus a 1% gross turnover or deemed turnover per annum for the license period, US$30 per frequency site every month, and a Broadcasting Fund which is a contribution of 0.5% of the audited annual gross turnover payable annually.

Last year (2020), BAZ received 14 applications for the broadcasting licenses and six stations were selected. [3]

Criticism

BAZ has been criticized for refusing to license independent operators of TV and Radio in Zimbabwe. Commercial Radio licenses have been issued only to government owned companies and those private companies owned by senior politicians of one party, Zanu-PF.

Further Reading

References

  1. About B.A.Z, , Published: , Retrieved: 21 November 2017
  2. https://dailynews.co.zw/baz-licenses-6-tv-stations/
  3. 3 TV Stations To Lose Licenses For Failing To Pay BAZ Fees, New Zimbabwe, Published: 26 April 2021, Retrieved: 20 February 2022