The Secretary of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana has revealed the government’s intention to introduce community radio stations. Mangwana reiterated the significant role of community radio stations in community development.
He also indicated that the move was in line with plans to decentralise governmental services through devolution. Mangwana said:
The thrust of Government in the Second Republic is based on empowerment coming through devolution. So, the drivers of development are communities and the Government fully supports the drive towards having community radio stations in different communities so that we will drive development in those communities in a devolved way.
He also indicated that the introduction can only be expected after the establishment of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) board.
He noted that most of the modalities are done by the board whilst the Ministry is responsible only for policy creation and coordination. He added:
The ministry’s role is to chat the policy and our policy is that we need that three-tier system (community, commercial and national radio stations) and we need community radio stations licensed because we do not have a single one at the moment, but who determines who is going to be licensed and who is not going to be licensed among the applicants? It’s not us. We are not going to interfere with that process, the BAZ will, as an authority that stands on its own which is the regulator and which does the licensing as well.
For communities that lack the capacity to establish radio stations on their own, Mangwana said that the government shall offer them financial assistance.
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