The government says it is committed towards its pledge to licence more community radio stations, citing that as soon as the regulation framework is complete all licence applications will be reviewed.
Radio is one powerful medium that has power to cut across all types of conflicts, be they political, social or economic, and has historically proved to be one of the most reliable sources of information especially for those in remote areas where television signals and other forms of communication are not within reach.
These remote areas are on government’s top priority list and will soon enjoy localised access to information as the processes of licensing community radio stations are already underway.
The development was revealed this Wednesday by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr Nick Mangwana, who was guest of honour at the World Radio Day commemorations held at Harare Polytechnic College.
Addressing delegates at the same occasion, National Peace and Reconciliation Commissioner, Dr Geoffrey Chada urged radio personalities to be creative and topical on issues that promote national unity and foster progressive dialogue.
Journalists and radio personalities from various stations that include ZBC’s Classic 263, Radio Zimbabwe, Khulumani FM and National FM, Star FM, ZiFM pledged to continue engaging the public on issues that foster national interest.
Meanwhile, Bulawayo and Matabeleland communities have hailed the increasing number of radio stations in the region.
The southern part of the country has seen at least four community radio stations being added to those with nationwide radio coverage.
Such developments have stimulated excitement from listeners who say they feel involved and part of national discourse.
“Having more radio stations has given listeners the liberty to switch from one station to other and choose what they want to listen to. Communities now feel that they are now part of the national agenda which is worth celebrating,” said Mr Ndlela Mkhwananzi.
Broadcaster, Sam Mkhithika during ZBC’s Khulumani FM show said the World Radio Day is being celebrated amid notable achievements of opening up radio airwaves, which is an initiative that has also empowered artists to connect with their fans.
“During our times, many artists used to feel hard done as their songs competed for a limited space in the few radio stations of our time. Now many new players have come to the picture to cater for that important need,” Mkhithika said.
Breeze FM, Khulumani FM and Skies FM are some of the new radio players that have been introduced to serve the southern part of the country.
The World Radio Day was commemorated under the localised theme: ‘Promoting Dialogue, Tolerance and Peace in Zimbabwe.’