Govt hailed for promoting media diversity
Harare (New Ziana) – The Zimbabwe government has been commended for promoting media pluralism and diversity through availing several community radio licences.
As part of strategies to promote access to information, the government has, in recent months, issued several community radio and private television licences.
On Wednesday, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) announced the registration of eight new community radio stations including the Matobo Community Radio Trust, Ndau Community Radio Trust and Chimanimani Community Radio Trust.
Others also given the green light to go on air include Twasumbuka Community Radio Trust, Radio Bukalanga (Pvt) Ltd, Vemuganga Community Radio Trust, Madziwa Community Radio Trust and Patsaka Nyaminyami Community Radio Trust trading as Kasambabezi FM.
Commenting on the development, the Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS) said the licensing of additional community radio stations was a positive step towards the achievement of broadcasting diversity and plurality.
“Over the years, ZACRAS has been advocating for the licensing of community radio stations in Zimbabwe. We therefore commend the Government of Zimbabwe for taking evident measures towards ensuring broadcasting diversity and plurality in the sector,” it said.
“The existence of a three-tier broadcasting system consisting of public, commercial and community broadcasting will go a long way in widening citizens’ information choices. The licensing of community radio stations will therefore enhance citizens’ access to information on socio-economic developments including fostering accountable and responsive governance.”
According to ZACRAS, Zimbabwe now has a total of 14 licenced community radio stations.
ZACRAS said radio was an important tool in disaster mitigation, response and recovery and would also help communities through educational classes for learners.
“At a time that the world is battling with Covid-19, it is anticipated that the licensed stations will be a platform of fighting Covid-19 through access to information promotion,” it said.
“Once the community radios go on air, we urge them to adhere to the standards and principles of community broadcasting.