THE Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS) has accused the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) of bullying and intimidation following reports that the regulator on Wednesday stormed Kwekwe Community Radio station to conduct searches.
Source: Broadcasting authority accused of bullying – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 10, 2017
BY STAFF REPORTER
In a statement yesterday, ZACRAS said BAZ disguised the raid as an inspection to ascertain whether the community radio was indeed broadcasting or not.
According to ZACRAS, BAZ officials said as part of their inspection they wanted access to Kwelaz Studio, to check transmitters and other broadcasting equipment.
They reportedly took time to listen to some of the pre-recorded programmes, which were in the studio, and also took with them some of the soft copies of the programmes.
The broadcasting regulator reportedly further took photos of the studio, list of the studio equipment, some documents and asked for the operational budget of the radio station.
“ZACRAS believes that such acts by BAZ and Transmedia seek to intimidate potential broadcasters out of the sector so as to curtail citizens’ access to diverse sources of information,” ZACRAS said.
“Sections 61 and 62 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provide for promotion of access to information and free expression through various and legitimate means. ZACRAS appeals for a change of attitude by government to embrace community broadcasting as an important sub-sector requiring support through licensing.”
ZACRAS called on government to licence genuine community radios and “stop playing unhelpful politics around this important issue”.
BAZ chief executive officer Obert Muganyura was not reachable for comment yesterday.