Zimbabwe’s cash-strapped state broadcaster has roped in the police to force listeners and viewers to renew their licences, writes our correspondent.

 

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has been running adverts warning the public that police would launch a door-to-door visit accompanied by ZBH  licence inspectors as it seeks to raise cash.

ZBC spokesman, Sivhukile Simango, said: “There is nothing sinister about our campaign to have the public renew their licences. We are quickening the process by involving police.

“Previously, we collected our fees through the post office and later the police in situations where viewers were penalised for having not renewed their licences on time.” He refused to comment on whether police will mount roadblocks to force private motorists and commuter omnibuses to pay for their car radios.

Previously,  the ZBC  collected their  fees from roadblocks but were later forced off the road after a public outcry.
Millions of Zimbabweans have not renewed their licences in the past as a way of protesting against poor programming and services by the state broadcaster.

Television programming is dominated by Chinese content and liberation struggle  films.

Meanwhile, the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights' (ACHPR) legal secretariat has completed its draft decision in the case brought against the Zimbabwean government challenging provisions of the draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).

ACHPR Chief Legal Officer, Dr Robert Eno said that a draft decision had been arrived at on the merits of the case brought against the government by MISA-Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and the Independent Journalists Association of Zimbabwe (IJAZ) challenging a number of sections of AIPPA.

He said the draft decision will now be submitted to the African Commission for its consideration pending a final decision in the matter. Details will only be known when the Commission makes its final decision.