ZIMBABWEAN government is planning to open a television station in Victoria Falls as a way of promoting tourism and development in the prime resort town.
Victoria Falls and surrounding areas in the Matabeleland North province are some of the areas in the country that still don’t have television transmission 37 years into independence, with radio transmission also erratic.
People in the area rely on TV and radio from neighbouring Zambia as well as short wave radio from international channels and DSTV.
Hopes are high that the ongoing digitisation programme will connect most of the ‘dark’ areas especially those along the country’s borders, with government earmarking to establish three major digital centres, Victoria Falls one of them.
Addressing scores of artists and potential content producers in Victoria Falls on Wednesday, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services George Charamba said plans were underway to make the resort town the hub of digitisation.
“Victoria Falls should have a television station of its own as the hub of tourism. This is something that’s already in progress,” he said.
Charamba, who is also presidential spokesperson said engineers were already on the ground working on a broken down base transmitter in Victoria Falls.
“The Victoria Falls transmitter is not working and engineers are working on replacing it.
There will be studios and quality equipment and we expect people to work hard,” Charamba said while encouraging locals to start producing content.
His Minister Christopher Mushohwe while admitting government failure to provide transmission to the resort town for the past 37 years, said there will be hundreds of job created.
“Victoria Falls is central to government plans where we want to make it the biggest centre of digitisation. For 37 years after independence people still can’t access TV here but this will soon be a thing of the past. In Binga work has already started,” he said.
Victoria Falls will be the centre of digitisation with the other centres in the two biggest cities of Bulawayo and Harare.
Under the digitisation programme, where 24 new transmitter base station are being constructed to add to the existing 24, will see the country opening 12 new channels.
Six will be owned by government while the other six will be private.
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