The licensing of Zimbabwe’s first three community radio stations and two campus radio stations has received plaudits from the Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations, which described the development as “visible steps” in promoting access to information and freedom of speech.
Addressing a press conference yesterday, Zacras chairperson Ms Perlagia Kapuya said they welcomed the historic step taken by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) to licence the first three community radio stations in post-independence Zimbabwe.
“ZACRAS therefore takes this opportunity to commend the Second Republic for taking visible steps in seeking to put to life the provisions of the BSA (Broadcasting Services Act) including Section 61 and 62 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, which talk about access to information and freedom of expression respectively.
“This latest development also comes against the background of the licensing of the first campus radio, the Great Zimbabwe Campus Radio,” she said.
Ms Kapuya hopes the community and radio stations will holistically contribute to the development of their communities through the provision of information platforms which enable community and student participation and engagement.
However, Ms Kapuya called on the licensed companies to operate independently for success.
She said that could be achieved through ensuring that communities and students were given the full rights to own and run their stations without interference.
Ms Kapuya urged the Government to ensure the new licensees get all the technical and start-up support required to get the stations off the ground.
“ZACRAS stands ready to partner and offer any support that may be needed as the country transforms the broadcasting sector,” she said.
The Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa has demonstrated willingness to allow more players into the broadcasting space to allow diversity.
Recently, six commercial television licences were issued as part of the same process.