ZBC forensic audit done, to be presented on Tuesday

via ZBC forensic audit done, to be presented on Tuesday – DailyNews Live 9 November 2014 by Ndakaziva Majaka

HARARE – A forensic audit into State broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) by KPMG auditors will be presented on Tuesday.

The report will map a way forward concerning the future of the struggling entity, as it chases a world digitalisation deadline.

George Charamba, the permanent secretary in the ministry of Media and Broadcasting services told reporters yesterday the final report was going to be taken to Cabinet after being presented.

“As you all know the two-part report will document the ills that happened at ZBC up to December 2013. It also itemises the actual value but figures are not yet available,” he said.

“Now the ministers will sink their teeth into the report and study the recommendations. It will then be taken to Cabinet for consideration. But as we are only left with six months to digitalise it will be a fast process,” he said.

The audit was commissioned after Media minister Jonathan Moyo fired the Cuthbert Dube-led board and suspended chief executive officer Happison Muchechetere.

He was quick to point out that the cash strapped ministry was exploring several ways to raise funding to meet the digitalisation deadline.

The country risks being expelled from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) if it fails to meet the June 2015 international digital migration deadline set by the ITU.

The global community set June 2015, as deadline to shift from analogue to digital, a development meant to increase spectrum for television and radio.

According to ITU expelled members risk losing access to the shared global use of radio spectrum, satellites orbit broadcasts, and basic latest-generation wireless technologies.

Convergence in fixed-mobile phone, Internet access, data, voice, TV broadcasting, and next-generation networks privileges could also be lost if the membership is dissolved.

However, deputy Media minister Supa Mandiwanzira is on record claiming government is on schedule as far as the digital migration deadline is concerned.

If the digitalisation thrust is achieved, not less than 100 television channels would be accommodated on the same frequency wave hosting ZBC TV and radio, according to telecoms experts.

ZBC missed the 2012 Southern African Development Community (Sadc) digitalisation deadline and speculation has been rife that next year’s deadline will be hard to meet.

Government by now must have put in place measures to ban imports of TV sets that are not DVB-T2 (Digital Video Broadcasting – Second Generation Terrestrial) compliant immediately to avoid dumping of these gadgets.

The country has set up four Ultra High Frequency (UHF) transformers countrywide with each having a capacity of carrying 18 to 20 new television channels.

Neighboring countries like Zambia and South Africa are reported to be at an advanced stage in the digitalisation process.