Zimbabwe: 8 additional community radio stations licensed

Mkhululi Ncube and Leonard Ncube Bulawayo Office

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Authority (BAZ) has licensed eight more community radio stations, including three based in the provinces of Matabeleland, bringing the number of radio stations to be broadcast in the region to seven.

BAZ should provide licensed community radio stations with studio equipment.

Of the last eight licensed stations, the three in the Matabeleland region are Radio Bukalanga (Pvt) Ltd (Bulilima), Matobo Community Radio Trust (Maphisa, Mangwe, Brunapeg) and Twasumbuka Community Radio Trust licensed (Binga, Kamativi, Siabuwa) .

Other stations already licensed in the Matabeleland region include Mbembesi Development Trust, marketed as Ingqanga FM; Ntepe Manama Community Radio Trust, Shashe Community Radio Broadcasting Association and Lyeja-Nyayi Development Trust.

Radio Bukalanga representative Sotsha Moyo said they were thrilled with the latest developments.

“Bukalanga radio station means a lot to us as Kalangas. It provides us with great platforms to share development ideas. It offers us a space to mingle and find the information we lack. The rebirth of our language which is almost dying will bring light, ”says Moyo.

He said he is confident the community will channel its energy like it has done with other major school and clinic building projects to make this dream come true. Mr. Moyo said that the fact that they have been successful in meeting the demands of the application is a testament that they will meet all the requirements.

Matobo Community Radio Trust (Bayethe FM) chairman Mr. Zenzo Ncube said they were excited about the license as they have been waiting for a long time.

He said the area has gone without radio signals for years and that the arrival of the community radio station is a relief.

“Obtaining a broadcast license for us is a major community development and achievement. Our community has had poor radio reception for a very long time. We hope to close that gap once we go live. We hope to be in. waves before the deadline stipulated by BAZ “, he said

Mr Ncube said the licensed area covers a radius of 50 km from Maphisa, Mangwe and Brunapeg and will be broadcast in all languages ​​of the communities. He said preparations to start the broadcast started the day they submitted an application as they set up financial plans to fund the operations.

Twasumpuka FM Chairman Sam Sibanda said the station will help boost economic growth in Binga and bring dignity to the people as it will broadcast in Tonga.

He said they will have a board members meeting today to chart the way forward after getting the license.

Mr Sibanda said they hope to meet with BAZ officials next week.

“We used social media to educate the community and the business community at the station to participate as well. We have a business community who offered to help get everything out of today’s meeting. “, did he declare.

Mthabisi Tshuma, content manager at Ntepe Manama community radio, said that while waiting for BAZ to be outfitted, they are using social media to broadcast for broadcast.

Beitbridge community radio chairman Mr Mekia Muyambo said they had found a place to operate and it had been inspected by a BAZ engineer.

“We still have to do the renovations and once we’re done we’ll call them again for inspection. If they’re happy, they’ll deliver the equipment,” he said.

Lyeja-Nyayi Development Trust station coordinator Mr. Thulani Munyandi, a journalist, said that once the government provides the broadcast equipment, it will be easy for them to start broadcasting.

“We will definitely meet the deadline as BAZ has already given us the frequency. The Trust has also set up a management team that will oversee the day-to-day operations of the station. Management has already opened a Facebook page where to start the broadcast. week, the management and the trust will select a few journalists at the head to feed the Facebook page with news from the district, ”he said.

Munyandi said their main challenge is resources and called on the cooperative world to participate and help through their social responsibility programs.

He said they had to renovate the building that will house their studio.

Mbembesi’s chief Ndondo said they were continuing to prepare for the broadcast of Ingqanga FM.

“I have been abroad for some time and returned last week. We are working hard to get everything in place. Our main priority now is to get the broadcast equipment. All of our stakeholders are working hard for s ‘make sure we’re ready, “he said.

Chief Ndondo said they had secured the grounds for the studios.

BAZ has since secured five sets of studio equipment for community radio stations and will be procuring more in the coming months.

BAZ Acting Director General Eng Matthias Chakanyuka said that after the licenses are granted, the stations should be operational within 18 months, otherwise the licenses will be automatically revoked as stipulated by the Law on Services of broadcasting.

Eng Chakanyuka said they were working to obtain studio equipment for community radio stations.

By law, all licensed stations must be broadcast within 18 months of being licensed, and Mr. Chakanyuka said they will live up to their part of the deal.

“On the issue of the deadline due to the availability of equipment, we don’t think that will be a problem. The government is in the process of acquiring the equipment and I can confirm that five sets of equipment are already in the country. Three come from Unesco thanks to its partnership with the government and they have agreed to distribute it to the communities. BAZ has two sets of equipment which were purchased through the broadcast fund to make five, ”he said.

Mr Chakanyuka did not say who will benefit from the available equipment, but said plans are at an advanced stage to purchase more.

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