Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) will not be allowed to set up community radio stations, Media, Information and Publicity minister Webster Shamu told Parliament on Thursday.
Shamu told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technology that community radios would never be open to non-residents.
“Community broadcasting is never for non-residents, whoever they are or maybe,” he said.
“Recent efforts by a well known NGO to hijack this process will not fly, and the agitating so-called Association of Community Broadcasters should know that theirs was advocacy work for raising awareness only and so they will have no role to play in the establishment and running of community radio stations in any part of the country.
“Any individual or organisation wishing to assist community radios by way of resources will be required to do so through structures which the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has either formed or shall form under the Broadcasting Fund which is for that purpose.”
Shamu said BAZ was going to play a buffer role between communities with broadcast facilities and any well-resourced donors.
“Community radios should never destroy community amity through divisive broadcasts and that is why political programming in community radios is disallowed by the Broadcasting Services Act,” he said.
“Those wishing to play politics must scale up the broadcast ladder to do so through national and commercial stations which serve fluid communities.”
He said five new radio transmitter sites located along the border and outlying areas were being installed and digitalised.
He said the areas included Beitbridge, Plumtree, Victoria Falls, StAlbert’s and Mudzi