Bulawayo residents have said the poor content produced by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), does not warrant any increase in licence fees.
This follows the government’s approval of the review of ZBC licence fees, Tuesday.
“Listeners’ licence fees should cover 80% of the corporation’s operational costs,” said Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa during a post Cabinet meeting.
“Cabinet noted that the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s equipment for both radio and television studios is obsolete and has outlived its lifespan, and therefore requires urgent replacement to enable the broadcaster to improve service delivery.”
Mutsvangwa added: “Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation will soon be launching two more channels towards the fulfilment of its mandate, and for these channels to be effectively rolled out, in addition to the ongoing digitalisation of its transmitters, the organisation has to be capacitated.
However, residents who spoke to CITE in Bulawayo CBD said the proposed review is not justified citing the national broadcaster’s poor quality programming which they said does not serve their interests.
Believe Shayabaya, a final year Journalism and Media Studies student at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) said it was important for ZBC to first improve its content before licence fees could be hiked.
“They also have to bring more local content mostly from here in Matabeleland. If you want people to pay you can’t just come up and say guys you have to pay a certain amount but you have to first improve content.
Lungile Moyo of Gwabalanda said it was pointless for the government to hike ZBC licence fees considering that many Zimbabweans have since ditched the national broadcaster for its poor programming.
“For the ZBC to hike fees when we do not watch them doesn’t make any sense,” said Moyo.
Mlamleli Luphahla another Bulawayo resident said: “I don’t see any logic behind hiking licence fees when what we are currently watching on ZBC does not make any sense to us. It would be better if they could increase the number of TV stations.