Zimbabwe in Danger of Having No Electronic Media Coverage in 2015

Harare,- Zimbabwe is at risk of not meeting International Telecommunications Union (ITU) 2015 deadline by which all countries under the United Nations should have migrated from analogue to digital broadcasting.

This might result in the country not being able to receive or send out television and radio signals.

The Acting Chief Executive officer of TransMedia, Rufaro Zaranyika told a media conference organised by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) on Friday in Harare that the country will meet the ITU deadline.

Apart from the ITU deadline Zimbabwe is also lagging behind the SADC 2013deadline by which regional countries should have migrated from analogue to the digital platform.

“As it is at the moment if we don’t get government support, it’s very unlikely that we will be able to meet the SADC 2013 deadline and the 2015 ITU deadline,” said Zaranyika.

“The switch is compulsory and any country which decides not to migrate will not be protected from signal interference from other countries as ITU will not be able to protect its signals. It is also a possibility that we might experience a media blackout if we don’t digitalise.”

The TransMedia official said currently the country has only managed to source some of the required digital transmitters which will arrive in the country in October. This, he said, only represents less than 5 percent of the work that needs to be done before the SADC and ITU deadlines. 

He said TransMedia which offers broadcasting infrastructural services in the country requires an initial amount of $ 30 million dollars to set up digital transmitters only yet it was only allocated $ 5 million from the current national budget which was further cut to$ 2 million when the Minister of Finance Tendai Biti moved to austerity measures in his last mid-term budgetary review.