Story by Yolanda Moyo
THE commissioning of Radio Bukalanga in Plumtree this Thursday is expected to empower the community and spearhead locally-driven development through universal access to information.
The development has been welcomed by the Bukalanga community as it will enhance the preservation of their culture and heritage.
The day also signaled a new era for communities in Bulilima, Mangwe and Matopo districts.
“This day means a lot to us as the Bukalanga community as this has been long overdue. The radio is key in preserving our heritage and culture that is slowly being neglected by the new generations. As a farmer, l believe this community radio station will be critical in educating us as local farmers as well on the farming practices that we need to implement as we face climate change challenges,” a farmer told the ZBC News.
A youth said, “As young children, we are happy that this radio station will be a platform to learn our language as we only have a few people that can speak this language in our generation.”
“We are grateful as the Bukalanga community for the license given to us, we will ensure that the radio station centres on the voices of the community in our area. This will spearhead development in our area, community voices for community development. Our content will ensure that our culture is kept alive,” noed another member of the community.
The Bukalanga community was hailed for spearheading the mobilisation of equipment in the setting up of the community radio station.
“The mission that you gave to license and commission is almost complete. 10 out of 14 radio stations are now operational and this is in line with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s clarion call of leaving no one and no place behind. We will continue to work towards making sure that all community radio stations are operational. The community has to be hailed for spearheading the mobilisation of resources for the setting up of the radio station,” said Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe representative, Ambassador Bornface Chidyausiku.
“I was impressed by the community here by taking the initiative very well and being part of the setting up of the radio. As FES, we are committed to helping other local radio stations and community-led initiatives. The community displayed a different behaviour compared to most communities that we have worked with, they were in the forefront working towards this day,” said Resident Representative of FES, Mr Tshili Schone.
The Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Dr Jenfan Muswere said the radio station dovetails with the government policy of empowering local communities by ensuring heritage-based broadcasting.
“The commissioning of radio BuKalanga dovetails with a number of projects that have been implemented by the second republic such as legislative reforms which have seen the licensing of community radio station. This is a clear testimony that we have heritage-based broadcasting services.
“This ensures that we support and enrich our languages and culture. Of importance is the reality that the station is broadcasting 70 percent of its content in Bukalanga. Bulilima, Mangwe and Matopo, communities are benefiting from this radio station and this dovetails with the ministry’s agenda on ensuring that our communities are informed as we seek to ensure that we inform and educate all districts across the country,” said the Minister.
“The station should be used to economically empower Zimbabweans across the country. President Emmerson Mnangagwa has implemented projects that have financially supported and empowered youths and women, thus the radio station should educate and inform the community on such initiatives, on health issues, climate change issues among other issues,” he added.
Radio Bukalanga is part of 14 community radio stations that were licensed by the Second Republic with 10 already operating in different parts of the country.