Govt to avail 19 campus radio licences

Source: Govt to avail 19 campus radio licences | The Herald February 14, 2020

Govt to avail 19 campus radio licencesMinister Monica Mutsvangwa

Patrick Chitumba  and Freedom Mupanedemo

Government has gazetted a Frequency Allotment Plan and Regulations that enable the establishment of 19 campus stations, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.

She was addressing media houses, journalists and residents gathered to commemorate the World Radio Day at the Gweru Civic Centre yesterday.

Minister Mutsvangwa said institutions of higher learning should apply for radio licences.

The commemorations were hosted by the Midlands State University (MSU).

“We believe in the power of radio,” said Minister Mutsvangwa. “It is a policy objective of my Ministry to have campus radio licences in Zimbabwe. To this end, we have gazetted a Frequency Allotment Plan and Regulations that enable the establishment of about 19 campus stations in this country.

“Our institutions of higher learning are advised to make use of what we have made available for them. We are a Government that walks the talk.”

Minister Mutsvangwa said her ministry has grasped and embraced the importance of radio, as it is a right for the people of Zimbabwe.

“Those who follow what we are doing can testify that we have made commitments to bring more broadcasters and a diversity of players to this landscape,” she said.

“It is a commitment, we ask you to judge us by when we meet again on this day next year.

“Our law envisages a three-tier broadcasting system. This incorporates public, commercial and community broadcasting.

“Currently, we have both public and commercial, but we are yet to license community broadcasters.

“Let me make this point clear, we are going to license community stations, we are about to license community radio stations.”

Minister Mutsvangwa said licensing of community radio stations was a priority agenda for her ministry in line with the devolution agenda pushed by the Second Republic.

“His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Government adopted devolution as one of its flagship policies in the Second Republic,” she said.

“We believe that everyone should have access to information.

“We realised that for everyone to participate in development, more so at a devolved level, their voices should be heard.”

Evidence gathered by the Information and Media Panel of Inquiry (IMPI), Minister Mutsvangwa said, was that radio was the most popular platform of information in Zimbabwe, particularly in rural communities.

“To develop at grassroots level, people should take pride in their communities and inculcate a sense of community that propels them to take ownership of their own development,” she said.

“Community radios will play a critical role. For this reason, there is no turning back on rolling out community stations.”

Minister Mutsvangwa said Government closed the legal gap that existed in law which hindered the establishment of the community radio stations.

“We gazetted regulations, which set the framework for the licensing Authority to call out for applications and I am advised they are preparing their call-out right now,” she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said as newspapers become more expensive, radio continued to dominate as the main source of information for the people.

Touching on the theme of the commemorations, “Radio, Diversity and Development”, Minister Mutsvangwa said there was need for radio stations to uphold diversity on personal and on content for national unity and development.