Baz is victimising us: Zacras

BULAWAYO - The Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (Zacras) says the Tafataona Mahoso-led Broadcasting Authority Zimbabwe (Baz) refused to engage his organisation over licensing of community radio stations alleging they were harbouring a political agenda.

Mahoso labelled community radio stations “regime change agents.”

Zacras represents 14 community radio stations initiatives countrywide.

Addressing the Bulawayo Press Club on Thursday, Zacras vice chairperson Zwide Khumalo, said it was disheartening that Zimbabwe is the only African country without community radio stations because Baz and government think they were regime change agents.

“Baz is very stubborn, they have been ignoring our calls for engagement on the issue of community radio licences,” Khumalo said.

“They think we are regime change agents because we have been receiving funding from Western donors. We are there to save the community not to topple government, after all there is nothing wrong by getting funding from Western donors to develop our communities. Even the Parliament of Zimbabwe receives funding from Western donors, are they regime change agents? Not at all.”

Khumalo told journalists that if community radio stations were available, government would have been alerted early of flood disasters which hit most parts of the country in recent months.

“Government failed to respond swiftly to flood disasters especially in Tsholotsho because of lack of adequate information. That is why we need community radio stations to warn authorities of such disasters in time,” said Khumalo.

Speaking at the same meeting, Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) board member Tapfuma Machakaire said it was high time the Zimbabwe government realised that community radio stations were a vital tool to the country’s development and allow them to broadcast.

Since its formation, Baz has only licensed two commercial radio stations countrywide, ZiFM and Star FM.

Speaking at the World Radio Day commemorations recently, deputy Information minister Supa Mandiwanzira said his ministry was committed to the establishment of multiple radio stations, but was against individuals who claim to be representing communities yet they wanted to use the radio stations as political tools.

Comments (1)

They will not license you guys until you have a ZanuPf card and paid up. What do you expect from Tafataona Mahoso who is still living in the 1890s. I wonder if he is still sane anyway.

maita - 24 March 2014

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