For years, Zimbabweans have been subjected to a TV monopoly by the state. Mention ZTV, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s television station, and you’re likely to be met with eye rolling, comments like “DeadBC” and even a spoof Twitter account.
Ever since the signal blackout from SABC, things have gotten even worse for Zimbabweans who used to rely on free-to-air decoders to get South African public television.
Lenard Kamwendo was just complaining about the lack of alternative television in Zimbabwe yesterday. And last week, a number of our SMS subscribers were sharing their frustrations with ZBC and wishing there were independent television stations in Zimbabwe.
Enter 1st TV, “Zimbabwe’s first independent television station.” Set to launch at 6pm on Friday 19 July, and available via the Wiztech Free to Air satellite platform, 1st TV will “provide impartial, factual news to the people of Zimbabwe as well as broadcasting popular films, soap operas and comedies.”
According to a press statement issued today, 1st TV “means that Zimbabweans will now have a station that not only broadcasts to them but also will serve as a platform for all people to express their views and to share information about what is happening in their areas and in their lives.”
In addition to being available via satellite, 1st TV says that it will also “have a strong presence on social media which will allow Zimbabweans themselves to influence and guide the growth and direction of the channel in terms of both news and entertainment.”