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Radio Licences To Become Mandatory For Motorists

It will soon become mandatory for motorists to first pay for a radio licence before acquiring vehicle insurance cover or policy unless there is an exemption from the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), reported the Chronicle.

This comes after the Cabinet on Tuesday approved amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act which will compel motorists to buy radio licences whenever they renew their vehicle licences.

In his post-Cabinet briefing yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Jenfan Muswere, this will broaden ZBC’s revenue base. He said:

The additional amendments will, among other provisions, provide for the following: ensuring gender balance in the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe Board; introduction of annual applications for broadcasting frequency spectrum licences; broadening and introducing new definitions under Section 38A; and prohibition of the sale of motor vehicle registration licence or motor vehicle insurance cover or policy to a person without a current radio licence or an exemption from ZBC under Section 38B.

In terms of the amended Act, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation revenue base will be broadened since it will be mandatory for all motorists to have a current radio licence before either disposing of their vehicles or purchasing motor vehicle cover or policy.

Cabinet also approved the amendments to the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) Act to, among other things, standardise training in journalism and mass communication in the country to enhance professionalism.

The proposed amendments to the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) Act also seek to establish a Media Council of Zimbabwe to regulate the media. Said Muswere:

Foreign ownership of mass media services in Zimbabwe will be limited to promote local content, local business and employment.

Zimbabwe Media Commissioners will serve for a five-year term, which is renewable once, and the Commission shall report to the Minister as provided for in the Constitution.

Muswere also said the Cabinet also approved the Media Practitioners’ Bill which will professionalise media players defining who becomes a media practitioner. The law will allow the independence and co-regulation of media practitioners. He said:

It will also allow the growth and development of the media industry. The nation is advised that the Media Practitioners’ Bill seeks to create a legal framework that outlines parameters for the regulation of the media as provided for in Section 249(3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

This entails the creation of a Zimbabwe Media Practitioners Council, which will be responsible for the regulation and enforcement of professionalism among all media practitioners…

The Media Practitioners Council will also deal with conduct and ethics. Media practitioners/councillors will be elected and will include nominees from the Editors’ forum, public media institutions, private media institutions and academic institutions.

While the approval of amendments to Acts of Parliament is significant, it does not automatically mean that the proposed changes take immediate effect.

When the Cabinet passes principles to a Bill, it represents a legislative intent, but it is not yet the Act itself, nor is it the finalized Bill. The following steps in the legislative process determine whether the proposed changes become law. These:

1- A draft Bill will be done by the AG.
2-The Draft Bill will go to the Cabinet Committee on Legislation(CCL) where it will be scrutinized.
3-Then it will go to full Cabinet where Cabinet will make comments.
4-The AG will tidy up the draft taking into account Cabinet input.
5-The Bill will be gazetted.
6-The Bill will be scrutinized by the Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC), checking on compliance and alignment with the Constitution.
7-Public consultations will be held.
8-The Bill will be debated in Parly.
9-Senate Input.
10-Presidential Assent.

More: Pindula News

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