Zimbabwe misses digitisation deadline – $27 million required urgently to meet 2017 target

Nigel Gambanga Avatar

In an update on Zimbabwe’s digital migration (digitisation) project the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has mentioned that because of funding challenges, it missed the project’s March 2016 deadline.

According to the Herald, Obert Muganyura, the CEO of BAZ, shared this information with the Secretary in the Office of the President, Dr. Misheck Sibanda, and a delegation of BAZ and ZBC management that toured some of the stations identified for the project.

The cost of the project was set at $173 million and the money was sourced through an auction of spectrum to NetOne.

The digitisation project is now expected to be completed by mid-2017 and progress is anticipated if an injection of $27.2 million is made urgently.

This will be used for importing $10 million worth of equipment, satellite lease costs, tower replacements, securing of the 400,000 set top boxes and the digitisation of 15 sites.

After meeting a June 2015 deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for the preliminary work on the project, the Broadcasting Authority fo Zimbabwe set a March 2016 deadline for the outstanding work.

However the funds required aren’t being released and according to Muganyura $19 million is owed to the contractor (Huawei was signed on to handle the project) with engineers working on the project lying idle and the shipments of equipment having been stopped.

In an update at the beginning of this year, BAZ mentioned that the project was 34% complete with the same challenges related to the release of funds highlighted as causes for the delays.


  1. Crazy Me

    We all new Zim will never meet the deadline. I wonder if ever we will really digitalize????

  2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    It’s just a ploy to delay as much as possible to get to the elections. Analog broadcasting allows the propaganda machine to reach everyone. Once broadcasting is digitalised, only those who have bought the set-top boxes will receive the propaganda. How many will those be?

  3. Macd Chip

    If that 27million is found today, tomorrow they will ask for $38 million to finish of the job..