ZBC licences compulsory: Con-Court

HARARE - The Constitutional Court has ruled that paying radio and television licences is mandatory for all listeners and viewers with  signal receiving devices in a verdict which empowers the State broadcaster — Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) — to collect fees from the resisting public.

ZBC lawyer Tazorora Musarurwa yesterday confirmed to the Daily News that the court granted the case in the broadcaster’s favour.

This comes after Musangano Lodge and Bernard Wekare approached the court challenging the constitutionality of paying ZBC licences.

Wekare approached the Constitutional Court after he had been summoned to court on criminal charges for failure to pay licence fees.

In his application, Wekare argued that the “forced” payment of licences is “draconian”.

Wekare told the court during the application that the forced payment of ZBC licences breached his right to freedom of expression, freedom of association and protection from discrimination among other rights.

“Being compelled to pay licence fees to the 2nd respondent (ZBC) for its services which I do not utilise and have no future desire  to utilise constitutes a form of legislative compulsion to contract with a party which I have no desire to enter into contract with.

“The forced payment of a licence for services I do not want constitutes an interference with my right to enter into contracts freely,” Wekare said in the application.

He added, “Accessing television and other broadcast programmes should not therefore be compulsory as much as it is not compulsory to buy a newspaper.”

Wekare also challenged the non-payment of licences to holders of other receivers like computers and cell phones who are also accessing the same services.

Musangano Lodge and Wekare’s cases are similar to Harare West MP Jessie Majome’s matter, which is also still pending at the Constitutional Court.

Comments (4)

Zanu government had no vision and continues to lack vision of what sort of nation Zimbabwe ought to be. They have wholesale imported all the norms and laws of Rhodesia which in turn were a replica of the colonial master. This license issue including the statutory instrument are prime examples. People should not be compelled to pay for a service they don't use, those who support zanu should do so through their membership cards subscriptions.

Galore - 21 July 2016

The ZBC case is it a legal judgement or a political imposition? I have great respect for our men of letters but some of these judgements stink.

Tekere - 21 July 2016

I think forcing people to pay licences for what they don't use is just fraud. Ztv and radio stations churn out stuff mostly out of sync with listeners/viewers tastes... Think the tv n radios must first must first improve their standards/ tastes first. Besides a customer can't b coerced to buy or eat terrible stuff kkkkk God forbid this crazy world

Dhewa - 22 July 2016

ZBC should switch us off if we do not pay the Tv lic fees. Damn it.

Wetsvimbo - 24 March 2017

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