The Zimbabwe Media Commission has issued seven more licenses to publishers of newspapers and magazines, continuing the process of media liberalization in the Southern African country where the independent press had long been under pressure.
Three applications for weekly newspapers and four applications for magazines were approved this week, commission sources said.
Acting Chairman Njabulo Ncube of the Media Institute of Southern Africa in Zimbabwe told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that the new licenses are good news, but that his organization wants to see independent broadcasters issued licenses without delay.
Radio and television licenses are issued by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, which was sued recently by Community Radio Harare which asked the High Court to order the authority, which has called for license applications since 2004, to do so immediately.
In the meantime the state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcast Corporation continues to enjoy a radio and television monopoly with the exception of offshore broadcasters such as VOA's Studio 7, Shortwave Radio Africa based in the United Kingdom and the Voice of the People which is based in South Africa and broadcasts over Radio Netherlands airwaves.