The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media and Information last week urged Treasury to urgently release funds for the digitisation programme to facilitate digital transmission.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Zimbabwe’s migration from analogue to digital broadcasting is said to be behind schedule at 35% completion despite that the deadline was way back in June 2015.
“The funds released for the digitisation programme were used to pay the local contractors only and nothing has been done to pay foreign contractors, who are now holding on to the equipment that is to be used for the programme,” John Holder, acting chairperson of the committee, said.
“Adequate funding should be made available so that the ministry can completely migrate from analogue to digital transmission. The implementation of this programme is behind schedule and this does not only put the ministry in the spotlight, but the entire country by the end of the first quarter of 2017.”
In 2015, Zimbabwe failed to meet the June 17, 2015 deadline by the International Communications Union to digitise.
Other concerns raised by the committee in the report were failure by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) to appoint a substantive chief executive officer.
“ZBC should appoint a substantive CEO as a matter of urgency for timeous and progressive decisions to be made by the end of February 2017,” the committee said also blasting New Ziana’s slow pace of embracing technological advancement.
The committee also challenged the Information ministry to publicise its Information and Media Panel of Inquiry report.
“The Zimbabwe Media Commission is now a standalone entity, but has not yet aligned its laws such as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act with the new constitution. Laws governing the operations of the ministry should be aligned with the dictates of the Constitution of Zimbabwe by the second quarter of 2017.”