Ray Bande, Harare Bureau
Government has started assisting prospective producers with resources to create content for 12 television stations that will be established after the finalisation of the digitisation programme, Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Christopher Mushohwe said yesterday.
Speaking during the Zim Digital outreach programme attended by more than 200 villagers at Ngangu Hall in Chimanimani, Dr Mushohwe implored Zimbabweans to actively participate in the creation of content for the television stations.
Dr Mushohwe said the creation of content was not a tall order given that it was created from everyday life situations.
“The aim of this programme is to enrich Zimbabweans,” he said. “This is a chance for every Zimbabwean to make money. We are saying if you have programme ideas and you lack the resources, we can assist so that we have enough content to provide the 12 stations that will be created after finalisation of the digitisation programme. Creation of content is not something that should give us a headache. This is something so simple because content is derived from the everyday life situations that we live. This programme is yours and you really need to embrace it and improve your lives through it.”
Dr Mushohwe said his office was already considering giving people in the rural areas set top boxes for free, while urban folks would acquire the gadgets at very minimal prices.
“Ideally, we do not expect to make money out of the sale of set top boxes, but rather the subscriptions that we then charge for viewing,” he said. “However, we also expect those that get set top boxes to subscribe and use the gadget, otherwise it would be recovered.”
Dr Mushohwe toured the Gwindingi base station in Chimanimani where digitisation works are at an advanced stage.
He urged the people of Chimanimani to embrace opportunities presented by digitisation to empower themselves economically.
“The digitisation programme is meant to let our nation develop at the same pace with other members of the global family,’ he said. “We also want the Zimbabwean story to be told by us Zimbabweans. This is your opportunity and I would be surprised to see unemployed youths after the finalisation of the digitisation programme. This programme presents employment opportunities hence youths should take full advantage of it.”
Dr Mushohwe was accompanied by his deputy Cde Thokozile Mathuthu and Permanent Secretary Mr George Charamba.