Music icon Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi has set his eyes on a radio station in Zimbabwe, a feat that would see him make history in the country’s broadcasting industry.
Yesterday, representatives of Tuku’s proposed station, KissFM — in which he is co-owner along with unnamed partners — appeared before the Media and Information Commission and the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe for a public inquiry in Harare.
In an interview with NewsDay, the music guru said the project would initially be in a technical partnership with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings as they did not have adequate resources to go solo.
Mtukudzi, however, dismissed the possibility the radio station could be used as an extension of the State propaganda machinery.
“We are independent,” Tuku said. “I can’t say our professionalism will be compromised by ZBC. Who knows, we may influence ZBC instead,” Mtukudzi said.
KissFM chief executive officer Musi Khumalo concurred:
“We are going to partner with ZBC for some of our news because ZBC have resources that will help us to operate . . . We are, however, not going to be influenced by any of ZBC’s policies on our news content because all of our content will have to be in conformity with our policy,” she said.
Tuku said the company — which he said expects to broadcast to the four corners of the country by 2015 — was “proudly Zimbabwean” and would take Zimbabwe’s radio experience to a new level.
The public inquiry process, however, fell under the spotlight as journalists were barred from using recorders to capture proceedings, raising suspicions of lack of transparency.
Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Zimbabwe director Nhlanhla Ngwenya castigated the move to prohibit recording of the proceedings.
“We condemn such acts to block information from trickling into the public domain. It is in line with the lack of transparency surrounding the whole process of allocating broadcasting licences to broadcasting aspirants,” the Misa boss said.