SABC encryption a welcome development, says ZBC. Now pay your TV license!

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation

Zimbabwe Broadcasting CorporationAn article in the state owned daily The Herald today says the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has “hailed” the encryption of the South African SABC channels a few days ago, which made the channels inaccessible on free to air decoders. The report says ZBC is urging viewers to pay up their TV licences as this would enable ZBC to improve the programming.

The ZBC group CEO, Happison Muchechetere is quoted in the article:

Instead of buying a free-to-air decoder people should just pay up their radio and television licences so that they enjoy quality programming on ZBC-TV. You will be amazed that some of the programmes that they were watching on SABC are available on ZBC-TV.

Yes, we might not match Hollywood movies, but certainly we will be able to screen the best from the local scene. Remember when urban grooves (music) started we made sure we played the music and the genre has since grown and people appreciate it. This is exactly the route we are going to take within the local film industry.

ZBC and Multichoice, the only other TV alternatives locally (well, outside the internet for the few  that can afford streaming) will likely register an increase in subscribers with the going away of the SABC channels which were prime entertainment for millions of homes in Zimbabwe and the region. Information from our readers yesterday was that some MultiChoice shops in Harare had throngs of people looking to subscribe to the DSTV service.

ZBC is the state-owned and only terrestrial broadcaster in Zimbabwe. The company has two TV stations; ZBC-TV and Channel 2. Channel 2 can only be received in an 80km radius outside of Harare and Bulawayo. For an idea of the content available on ZBC-TV, see this weekly programme line up, or download it here.


  1. tafmak3000

    Enter ZBC (place soundtrack here)

    1. Tensa Zangetsu

      Happi is happy! (too good to resist)

    2. Baradze

      Am impressed by the trailer! Looks like a really cool flick with lots of special effects. When is the movie available?

      1. Farai Sairai

        Lol, the pirates can’t wait am sure 😛

  2. Muoni

    Dream on I will rather pay Multichoice…

  3. Baradze

    I bet my last dollar that Happison does not even watch a single programme on ZBC!

  4. Tawanda Chivas

    multichoice is actually cheaper than the zbc licences so why would i want to watch zbc instead of subscribing to dstv which offers a wider range of channels to choose from

    1. ucha nyepa iwe

      iti shuwa

    2. Alu Moyo

      ON WHAT PLANET??? GoTV (cheapest Multichoice Package) $9 x 12 Months = $108. ZBC TV Licence is $50 for the whole year!

      In any case the ZBC license is not for the programming actually. Its a license to own a UHF or FM Receiver. So you have to pay whether you watch ZTV or not. Even if you bring them into your house and show them that your TV is not tuned to ZTV hazvina kana basa. You have to pay regardless – as long as you have THE RECEIVER. This is law – its the same in SA – where you can’t even BUY a TV without a license. And ZBC have been planning to introduce that draconian rule BECAUSE so many people having donging those licenses.

      1. Count von Count

        17 vs 2 channels (depending on where you live) is still a great deal.

        1. Alu Moyo

          Those are two “fee channels” because the $50 is not a TV subscription – its a LEGAL REQUIREMENT: its two completely different things. Yes, when they advertise to make you pay, they may tie the amount to you programming and whatever, but its a licensing requirement – not a subscription. If the $50 is being paid on both sides, and applied on both sides of the equation, it cancels itself out – that how its done in Maths class right? Leaving us with the bigger amount on the 17 channels side, and zero on the 2 channels side.

      2. Summaz

        Saka kana zvakadaro murume wese ari muZimbabwe ngaasungirwe nyaya yerape case nekuti ane apparatus that can make him rape.

  5. menard

    he should have just encouraged viewers to watch ZBC stations instead! telling them to pay up is an insult for sure!

    1. tinm@n

      By law your TV license should be paid as long as you have a device that receives TV signals, regardless of whether you watch or not. There are no options there.

      Same as in SA. And these ones get you when you are purchasing your new TV…legitimately

      1. biNu Zimbabwe

        Yeah, but that law is up for contest!!! This is a matter of FORCING one to enter into a contract that they do not desire and we long for the day when we can willing neglect or choose to pay.

        At the end of the day, if I do not pay for the service ZBC should not allow me to access it. And if that is not possible then they should just look for other ways of raising money.

    2. Alu Moyo

      Not an insult – LAW!

    3. purple

      As much as it is the law….practically on the ground how will the be able to enforce it on all of us. Still I doubt if most household will be able to afford to pay $50 for a licence because of income levels. Even I am struggling to pay the $30 for DSTV compact bouqet every month(I do love my series). Where will I find $50 to pay to pay for Happison Muchechetere’s Allowances?

  6. Time

    ZBC is pathetic…Even on DSTV the channel quality is just awful!

  7. re-a-list

    I wouldnt want to call Happyson stupid but he is certainly close.Money does not improve propaganda, u just have to do away with it.That is the beef most zimbos have with ZANU BROADCASTING CORPORATION. have you seen how lame Nigerian movies are but they seem to be popular with the greater population of zimbos. i for would rather watch theater productions than zbc and and im not even a theater fan

  8. Farai Sairai

    Get yourself an SA DSTV decoder and pay R29 ($3) a month and you are back to square one.

  9. purple

    People seem to forget that its not only SABC which is available on these free to air decoders. People will obviusly still have access to France 24

  10. Braddock Nhari

    its time Zimbos with real money to invest in new local high quality
    channels. 3 million people cant throw away those decoders, instead let
    start our own home grown good stuff, even if its 10% local content then
    90% western. even 100% western, lets just have our own stuff. good high
    quality stuff.

    1. Guest

      dont tell me u are falling for this. no-one had an issue with local content, the issue started when every 5 minutes there was a ‘political advert’, including the hour long news every hour…

  11. Blaz James

    Happison can stick his ZBC where the sun does not shine

  12. zimbo