Government to restructure underperforming public entities Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere (right) is taken through television production stages at ZBCtv Studios

Rejoice Makoni, Harare Bureau

STATE-OWNED entities, including some public media organisations that are not performing optimally, will need to be restructured to ensure that they start contributing to national growth as enshrined in the National Development Strategy 1, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Dr Jenfan Muswere, said yesterday.

Speaking during a familiarisation tour of ZBC Mbare and Pockets Hill studios in Harare, Dr Muswere said it was worrying that some public media entities were not meeting expectations.

“There is a need to realign, restructure and recapitalise some of the institutions. At the same time, we should look at other policies and focus on amending some of the legislation that has ensured that some state enterprises are not performing optimally. State enterprises used to contribute more than 40 percent to the national GDP (Gross Domestic Product) but currently some of them are not meeting expectations,” he said.

Dr Muswere said the tour of ZBC was in line with President Mnangagwa’s servant leadership and stakeholder approach in order to attain Vision 2030.

“We are working together with the board of directors, chief executive officers, management and the workers’ committee for us to be able to find solutions to some of the problems so that we have a fully functional Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation as a national broadcaster with all studios fully functional.

“The familiarisation tour is very important. This is why I visited every studio and interacted with the workers committee chairperson so that we get to understand their perspective in terms of shaping the national broadcaster for us to be able to give the requisite service across the country.”

Dr Muswere said there was a need for infrastructure investment in all studios.

He said full digitalisation of all the radio stations was important and emphasised the need to focus on Transmedia Corporation to ensure that the country moves from analogue to digital.

Transmedia is a state-owned company established to provide radio and television signal distribution services for broadcasters in Zimbabwe. It is involved in the digitalisation project which seeks to improve television and radio quality and coverage countrywide.

Dr Muswere said he had engaged senior management at the public media organisations under his purview to get an understanding of the state of affairs.

“In my first week in office, I managed to get a presentation from the board of directors of each public media entity in terms of the current state of affairs, the history involved and the future business plans with respect to each entity and every strategic business unit”. 

Dr Muswere said it was critical to utilise satellite technology as the country reaches a point of convergence in terms of information, publicity and broadcasting services.

“Armed with all the information, we are now on the practical assessment of the state of affairs at every institution for us to marry the theory and have a look at the future business plans going forward.

“There is a need to marry information and communication technologies, State-owned enterprises and the private sector players. Of great importance is the role of the private media for us to be able to communicate and publicise our programmes in a two-way communication platform so that the Government knows the feedback in terms of the programmes and projects that it is implementing”.

The familiarisation tour gave the Minister an opportunity to empirically have a look at how radio stations operate, the state of affairs in every studio, the ongoing recapitalisation efforts, the challenges and the human resources issues.

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