THE Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) is set to hold public hearings for stations vying for commercial radio licences in Bulawayo today and tomorrow.
Officials from Fair Talk Communications (Pvt) Ltd trading as SKYZ Metro FM, Skies Radio (Pvt) Ltd trading as Skies FM and Carryslot (Pvt) Ltd trading as Skyz FM are set to present their proposals to the public at the hearings.
Victoria Falls gets its turn on Friday where one firm, Fairtalk Communications trading as Breeze FM, is shortlisted.
In July, BAZ postponed the hearings countrywide citing “unforeseen circumstances”.
Skies FM is being bankrolled by Transport minister Obert Mpofu while Skyz Metro is fronted by Qhubani Moyo and Cont Mhlanga and Skyz FM is owned by Alpha Media Holdings, publishers of Southern Eye, NewsDay, The Standard and Zimbabwe Independent.
After Bulawayo and Victoria Falls, the regulatory authority moves to Harare where Carryslot (Pvt) Ltd trading as Capital FM and Yes Frequency Modulation trading as Yes FM would make presentations on September 9 while Kingstons Holdings trading as K.E 100 4 FM would get its chance on the 10th.
Hearings have been done in Zvishavane, Mutare and Kariba.
Zimbabwe currently has six radio stations; four owned by the State while the other two StarFM and ZiFm are owned by the State-owned Zimpapers and AB Communications, which is linked to Information, Media and Broadcasting Services deputy minister Supa Mandiwanzira respectively.
A number of media lobby groups and associations have been calling for the liberalisation of broadcasting services for private players to operate as government dithers on licensing them despite a Supreme Court ruling in 2000 which overturned the State’s monopoly on broadcasting.