Community radio initiatives to start operating

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As public broadcasters, their ignorance, malice and criminal conduct are always on public display so they simply must behave well while on air.

TWENTY two community radio initiatives under the Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (Zacras) have decided to start operating online after waiting in vain to be licensed for the past 16 years.

BY MUNESU NYAKUDYA

Zimbabwe National Editors Forum (Zinef) national coordinator, Njabulo Ncube said the radio stations wanted to take advantage of the new dispensation brought about by the inauguration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week amid promises of reforms and greater freedoms.

“We held a symposium on Thursday in Harare under the theme Unlocking community radio potential for a changing Zimbabwe.

Community radio initiatives under Zacras met and it was resolved that they need to broadcast taking advantage of the internet instead of waiting for licences,” he said.

Since 2001, Zacras has been waiting for community radio station licences, but the government has been reluctant to issue them.

The government blamed the delays on the economic downturn, while others say it was just lack of will.

“The agreement was that let us take advantage of the new era of ED (Mnangagwa) and broadcast on the internet, so we are not waiting for the government anymore,” Ncube added.

Zacras chairperson, John Chirinda added: “Zacras Community Broadcasting Symposium made the resolution that we will start to implement the Constitution by broadcasting since its provided for in the Constitution. If there is any legislation or policy that the government needs to regularise, they will do so as we are broadcasting.”