ZBC engages Harare City as licensing agent

THE Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation has engaged Harare City Council to be their agent in collection of radio and television licences for a commission.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

Minutes of council’s information and publicity committee tabled at a recent meeting state that the local authority would collect licence fees for a 10% commission.

“It is resolved that subject to concurrence by the finance and development committee, council grants authority for the City of Harare to collect household and business radio and television licences on behalf of ZBC, in terms of the memorandum of agreement between council and ZBC,” read part of the minutes.

The State broadcaster has the legal right to collect radio and TV licences, but many Zimbabweans are failing to pay them.

The licences cost $30 and $50 respectively.

Arguments that have arisen over the failure to pay the licences range from that the State broadcaster’s programming which many people allege was poor and biased, and also that the majority of Zimbabweans cannot afford the fees because of economic challenges.

Council minutes state that the local authority would use its manpower to collect the money on behalf of the State broadcaster and remit the money on the 5th of every month after deducting its commission.

In return, council was to enjoy free advertising on top of the commission and increased publicity.

At law, it is illegal to operate or own a radio and television set without a licence and from the envisaged deal, council would use its rates collection method to do the ZBC bid.