MP files notice of motion to repeal BSA

HARARE - A Debate about whether to repeal the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) is back before Parliament.

MDC MP for Magwegwe Anele Ndebele moved to table a motion yesterday that would delete several sections of the Act as a start towards fully dismantling it in line with Section 61 of the new Constitution.

The BSA came into effect in 2001 with the assumed intention of correcting the lack of private players in Zimbabwe’s broadcasting industry. This was done against the backdrop of a constitutional challenge in the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe by newly-founded Capitol Radio, which was subsequently closed following its attempt to broadcast in the capital, Harare.

In tabling the notice, MP Ndebele said the legislation is falling short in regulating the broadcasting industry in the face of the disruptive changes emanating from the digital migration process.

The notice said the process of digital migration as outlined by the International Telecommunications Union had surgically changed the broadcasting industry in terms of the spectrum size and management in Zimbabwe.

The Information, Media and Broadcasting ministry has also conceded that the BSA and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act need to be amended in line with the emerging trends born out of the digital migration process and the dynamics of listenership and readership of the media products. The motion noted that Zimbabwe still does not have the 3-tier broadcasting system 14 years after the promulgation of the BSA.

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