Binga folks welcome community radio station

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BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE

BINGA villagers have hailed the licensing of Twasumpuka community radio station saying it would provide an important platform for the preservation of their cultural norms and values.

The district previously had no access to local radio and television broadcasts and villagers relied on TV and radio broadcasts from neighbouring Zambia.

In an interview, Bbaido Ndlovu, a Binga resident, said the community radio station was of great importance to the community.

“Binga is an information-starved area. We have no television waves, we have no radio waves, National FM is the only radio which reaches us, but we can go for weeks again without accessing it,” Ndlovu said. “This community radio station will improve access to information. This will enable us to preserve the culture of the Tonga people. We are not saying we will ignore other cultures in Binga, but this is a chance to preserve the culture of the VaTonga people.”

Government recently licensed several community radio stations, including Twasumpuka.

Meanwhile, villagers in the marginalised district have also launched a fundraising drive to raise the needed financial and material resources to ensure Twasumpuka starts operating.

“We have been distributing finance forms to residents so that we can pay the money required by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ). We have been receiving EcoCash, maize, goats and ducks so that we can resell to raise the required money,” Ndlovu said.

“We are expecting the radio station to start operating by June next year. We got well-wishers who donated a cellphone, laptop and a recorder. We have also been working with the Binga Rural District Council to accommodate the community radio station.”

Binga Residents Association vice-chairperson Samson Sibanda added: “The community wants its station to operate as soon as possible. We, however, have challenges in reaching out to wards which are very far because of resources. After we finish paying the BAZ licence fee, the radio can start operating.”

Binga continues to be exposed to poor road infrastructure, communication facilities and water shortages despite the presence of several non-governmental in the area.

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