Masvingo’s first commercial radio station Hevoi FM, which started live broadcasting on the 1st of this month has told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services that it is facing a number of challenges that are affecting its delivery.
Hevoi FM is currently broadcasting from Masvingo, to a 40 km radius audience.
AB Communications chief executive officer, Mrs Susan Makore told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services that they are encountering challenges in finding presenters with good presentation skills.
She also highlighted that the 40 km radius restriction in terms of coverage, is proving to be a challenge in attracting advertisers as companies prefer to advertise to a wider reach of audiences.
“We had to get our personnel locally. The issue of skilled labour is proving to be a challenge. The skills base is very thin,” said Mrs Makore.
Members of the parliamentary committee however questioned if the station is not getting greedy by wanting to spread their coverage to more areas with the view of securing more adverts and advised them to find ways of exhausting their current target market.
The chairperson of the committee, Mr William Dewa added they are concerned that most of the recently licensed commercial radio stations are not fully operational and still have not acquired all their requisite broadcasting equipment.
“We are touring the stations to see how they are operating and the challenges they are facing. We are concerned that most of them are not fully operational. They are yet to receive equipment due to constraints of foreign currency,” Mr Dewa said.
The station also said it is finding it difficult to acquire land to build permanent premises.