Promote development, urge community radios
Ray Bande in CHIMANIMANI
Radio stations being established across the country should not be misused to promote hate speech, but rather help foster development and disaster early warning systems, said a Cabinet minister.
Manicaland now has a third operational radio station and yesterday hundreds of people from different walks of life came together for the official launch of Chimanimani FM.
Community radio station Chimanimani FM, accessible at 100.0 on the FM dial, comes after the establishment of Diamond FM, owned by Zimpapers, and another community radio station Nyangani FM in the southeastern province of the country.
Speaking at the official launch of Chimanimani FM, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa warned staff and community against perpetration hate speech through community radio stations.
“Let us remember that these radio stations are not meant to spread hate speech. Remember that there are laws that govern the content and operations of what is broadcast. Therefore, we need these radio stations to promote development and improve our disaster preparedness mechanisms rather than promote hatred and division among us,” Sen Mutsvangwa said.
She said community radio stations are meant to promote the identification and promotion of talent.
“The objective is to identify and promote talent. We have seen here through theater and poetry that Chimanimani has a lot of talent. We need to make sure that this station helps promote that talent. We must ensure that we leave no one and no place behind in the development agenda of the new dispensation,” the minister said.
In a separate speech delivered on the same occasion, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Ms. Thumisang Thabela, said that the establishment of radio stations increased the effort to reduce face-to-face learning. .
“As a ministry, we are grateful for the establishment of community radio stations as they are helpful in reducing the traditional face-to-face learning system. We have learned the importance of this trajectory during the times of Cyclone Idai and of the Covid-19 pandemic where certain areas were inaccessible while the physical presence of teachers and learners in a classroom was not advised or possible,” she said.
The chairperson of the Chimanimani FM board, Ms. Mercy Saco, thanked the government for prioritizing Chimanimani in establishing radio stations.
She pleaded for help from businesses and stakeholders in maintaining the station.
“We are truly grateful to the government for ensuring that Chimanimani also had a radio station during the early stages of the process of establishing community radio stations across the country. This makes us, as residents of Chimanimani, feel wanted and comforted, especially given the challenges we faced during Cyclone Idai. Now that we have this station here, we humbly implore the business community as well as all the stakeholders we have moved with since the beginning of this journey, to continue to support us in order to ensure the sustainability of the station. These young men and women work on a voluntary basis, but they also have families and bellies to feed,” Saco said.
In her solidarity speech, Zimpapers’ public relations officer, Mrs. Pauline Matanda, pledged to continue providing technical support to Chimanimani FM.
“We are happy to have more players in the industry as it improves the quality through competition. As an older sister and bigger institution, we will continue to support Chimanimani FM in any way we can, especially on the technical aspects of our work as players in the media industry,” she said.
Several partners who conveyed messages of solidarity during the official launch, including Zimpapers, UNOPS, UNESCO, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Authority (BAZ), ZBC and Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC), among others , praised the government for opening up the media space in the country.