BY ARNOLD FANDISO
GOVERNMENT has been urged to warehouse the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) legacy debt which is about $66 million.
The proposal was made by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media and Broadcasting Services in a position paper on the 2022 national budget, which was issued during the just-ended pre-budget seminar in Victoria Falls.
“Treasury should warehouse the ZBC legacy debt. It has been there for quite some time now and ZBC is failing to clear it. ZBC has no pension scheme and medical aid scheme, the budget should also speak to this,” the committee report read.
Chairperson of the Media Portfolio Committee, Sipho Makone said the State broadcaster should be funded to rebuild its image, adding that Finance minister Mthuli Ncube should adequately fund ZBC’s digitisation programme which is 43% complete and requires US$71 million for its completion.
“As such, there is a need to open up the airwaves by ensuring more television stations for variety, and more diverse content for viewers. This in turn could see a spike in television licence payments, resulting in more revenue. All this is hinged on the need to move from analogue to digital, a process that is taking too long to complete,” the report added.
MPs said Ncube should allocate funds towards installation of more mobile network boosters to improve telecommunications and radio and television reception in the remote areas.