This is the second channel to close its doors following the decision of the Ministry of Telecommunications, Information Technologies and Social Communication, which forced the suspension of channels alleging "nonconformities", after Vida TV, which ended its activities in July 2021. , leaving more than 300 professionals unemployed.
The news was released by the PlatinaLine portal, according to which the workers were fired due to the long period of inactivity of the channel in national territory, since only broadcasting in Portugal and Mozambique was maintained.
Contacted by Lusa, ZAP's official source said he had no information to give.
Angolan artists and public figures, meanwhile, expressed their solidarity and regretted the closure of the channel, as did businesswoman Isabel dos Santos, owner of the telecommunications operator ZAP, whose shareholdings were seized in December 2019, at the request of the provincial court of Luanda.
On her Instagram account, Isabel dos Santos, who has lived outside Angola since her father, former President José Eduardo dos Santos, left power and faces several legal proceedings in the country, expressed "affection and admiration" for her colleagues at the ZAP and said he was "heartbroken", expressing the hope of "coming back one day".
On Tuesday, ZAP Viva workers said a prayer of thanks that circulated on social media for the opportunity to work and support families in the last nine months.
In September last year, the operator had already announced a gradual process of redundancies following the suspension of the ZAP Viva channel, stating that it was carrying out "the necessary steps to resume broadcasting in national territory" despite "no a resolution time horizon".
Without mentioning how many jobs are at stake, ZAP mentioned, at the time, that it was "proceeding with various measures to optimize different operational areas", among which are the human resources allocated to the ZAP Estúdios Unit, responsible for the production of of television, which includes ZAP Viva.
ZAP is the result of a 'joint-venture' between the Portuguese telecommunications company NOS (30 percent) and SOCIP - Sociedade de Investimentos e Participações, SA (100 percent controlled by Isabel dos Santos) which provides satellite television to Angola and Mozambique. The ZAP VIVA channel is available in Portugal through NOS.
On April 21, 2021, the Government suspended the Record TV África, ZAP Viva and Vida TV channels, a measure justified by "legal non-conformities", also suspending the provisional registrations of newspapers, magazines, news websites and radio stations with no actual activity in the last two years, the list of which has never been released.
In the case of Record TV Africa, owned by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD), involved in several controversies and legal proceedings in Angola, the ministry alleged that the company had a foreign citizen as its executive director, as well as foreign journalists who were not accredited or accredited by the Aníbal de Melo Press Center.
On the other hand, pay-TV providers, namely TV CABO, SA, DSTV ANGOLA, SA, FINSTAR - holder of ZAP TV, were duly legalized, but distributed the channels ZAP Viva, Vida TV and Rede Record without registration for the exercise of television activity in Angola, which led to the suspension.
At the time, the ministry said that its action was aimed at adjusting the process of attributing the title of definitive registration of the exercise of the activity to the media companies and has not given further explanations to date.
Organizations such as the Union of Angolan Journalists and the Institute for Social Communication of Southern Africa (MISA-Angola) expressed concern about this decision, as it called into question the plurality of information, which was now broadcast only by public channels, controlled by the State, and questioned the laws invoked for the suspension.