ConCourt makes landmark ruling on ZBC licences

The Constitutional Court has ruled that all citizens who are in possession of gadgets capable of receiving radio and television signals must pay Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation licence fees.

The court made the landmark ruling in two cases by Mr Bernard Wekare and Musangano Lodge challenging the constitutionality of provisions of the Broadcasting Services Act (Chapter 12:06) on funding of public broadcasting services.

The Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba dismissed both applications on the grounds that the law clearly obligated citizens to pay the fees as long as they are in possession of TV and radio signal receivers.

The court ruled that ZBC was exercising delegated power by collecting the licence fees.

Wekare and Musangano Lodge challenged the constitutionality of compulsory payment of licence fees, arguing that it infringed upon their freedom of choice when they were being forced to pay for services they did not want to watch or listen to.