Home » General » Media Hail BAZ Over New Radio Licensees

MEDIA organisations across the country have welcomed the recent move by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe to license eight more commercial radio stations, saying this will help bring investment into the country. The new licensees bring to 10 the number of commercial radio stations in the country as ZiFM and Star FM are already operating.

Zimbabwe Union of Journalists secretary-general Foster Dongozi said yesterday that the entry of new players into the broadcasting sector will bring development and investment opportunities.

He said the radio stations would provide employment to the public and foster robust debate on matters of importance.

“We would like to congratulate the eight radio stations that were awarded the licences. We welcome the move of licensing different players in the industry. This will bring development and investment to the country’s ailing economy. These radio stations will generate employment and provide citizens with information that is vital for their development,” said Dongozi.

Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe executive director Loughty Dube also hailed the development saying it would pluralise the media landscape.

“We would like to congratulate those that were awarded the licences. This will bring diversity and development to the media fraternity. However, we urge Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe to publish the rating systems and criteria that they used in selecting the applicants. They made the hearings public, we also have a right to know the merits of the awarded radio stations,” said Dube.

Media Institute of Southern Africa country director, Nhlanhla Ngwenya said the Government should speed up the process of licensing community radio stations so that people in rural areas also have access to a variety of information.

Meanwhile, Fairtalk Communication’s Skyz Metro FM shareholder, celebrated playwright Cont Mhlanga has dismissed claims that the radio stations that got licences were linked to zanu-pf..

“Those who attended the public hearings would be the first to dismiss that ridiculous idea. It comes from people who have no vision and aren’t prepared to work. They play the blame game to hide lack of ambition and simple laziness,” said Mhlanga.

He said Skyz Metro FM landed the licence because of a well researched presentation from a dedicated team.

Mhlanga added: “I can’t speak for other licensees, but if these ludicrous claims are true, then Obert Mpofu’s Skies FM would have been given the licence in Bulawayo because he is a senior zanu-pf. official.”

Skyz Metro FM chief executive officer Qhubani Moyo said the station was not a subsidiary of zanu-pf.

“Our editorial policy is based on participative thrust. Fairtalk is not a subsidiary of zanu-pf. We are going to provide a platform for everyone regardless of their political ideologies. It is really problematic that some people have no appreciation for Government efforts in opening up the airwaves. These are the people who exclude themselves from development,” said Moyo.

He said Skyz Metro and Breeze FM from Victoria Falls will start broadcasting by the beginning of August and they had invested $2 million.

“We need about 5 to 6 months to get on air. Currently we would start by renovating our broadcasting studio at Amakhosi Cultural Centre and then construct our studio in Victoria Falls. We have imported radio equipment which cost $300 000 from Italy and the USA. We have invested more than $2 million in both stations,” he said.

Moyo said the stations would provide a platform for politicians, traditional leaders, civic society, churches and the general populace of Bulawayo to discuss issues of interest.

Source : The Herald