BY VANESSA GONYE/HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
Independent media operator, Heart and Soul Broadcasting Services, is seeking a television broadcasting licence to expand its reach.
This comes as interviews by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) for six slots available for free-to-air television licences began on Monday and are expected to run until the 21st of this month.
Fourteen applicants will compete for the six television licences, amid calls by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information and Media and other stakeholders that independent media operators should be considered for broadcasting licences.
Heart and Soul TV (HSTV) is part of the 14 and will battle it out with applicants that include AB Communications, Zimbabwe Newspapers Group, Acacia Media Group, Black Berry Zimbabwe, Channel Dzimbahwe, Conduit Investments, Continental TV, Fairtalk Communications, Jester Media Services, Just In Time TV, Media Net Productions, Meditation Investment and Rusununguko Media.
In the past, radio and television licences were awarded to State media, or media houses owned by individuals linked to the ruling Zanu PF party.
But Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa recently assured the nation that there would be fair play in the awarding of licences.
The interviews are being conducted virtually in line with COVID-19 containment measures.
In a related matter, President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday swore in nine new commissioners of the Zimbabwe Media Commission that were appointed in July.
The newly sworn-in commissioners are Ruby Magosvongwe, Dumisani Mashingaidze, Susan Makore, Miriam Tose Majome, Tanaka Muganyi, Phillip Pasirayi, Edward Mbewe, Jasper Maphosa and Alec Ncube.
The appointments were made in terms of section 248(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
In June this year, 18 candidates were shortlisted by the Parliament of Zimbabwe for the vacancies in the commission and interviews were subsequently held.
· This story has been changed to correct the misconception that AMH had applied for a television license. Heart and Soul TV is an independent media operator and not an AMH subsidiary. AMH is not seeking a television licence.