By Gay Matambo
THE establishment of the recently licenced Avuxeni Community Radio Station in Chiredzi is expected to empower marginalised communities in the district through universal access to information.
Communities in some parts of Chiredzi district which include Mahenye, Chikombedzi and Malipati areas hardly access local broadcasting stations, leaving them with no option but to rely on foreign radio stations especially those from South Africa.
Chiredzi residents who spoke to ZBC News on the establishment of Avuxeni community radio station say the development is a welcome initiative which will bring pride to the district.
“I am happy with this developmental programme which is set to create employment opportunities for our children. It’s exciting that we are going to have our own radio station here because we have been listening to radio stations from Harare and Masvingo. It’s a good thing that we will have our own station.”
“As youths and local djs we have been awarded a platform to showcase our talent. In terms of information dissemination, this development will contribute to that.”
Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Chief Director responsible for Government Programmes and Messaging Jonathan Gandari, who was part of the ministry delegation that visited the radio station this Friday, highlighted that government seeks to grow the broadcasting industry to greater heights.
“I am happy with what I have seen. I’m encouraged that they can do this,” said Gandari.
“This is poised to be a successful story of community radio station. Our quest is to open up the airwaves, our quest is to make sure that information gets to everybody.
“Our quest is to make sure that communities use information as a resource for development, as a resource to move forward towards an upper middle income economy.”
The programming of Avuxeni FM will be centred on the diverse Tshangani and Ndau cultures.
“Whatever we are going to be programming will be based around our culture how we are living as the Tshangani people and the Ndau people,” said Furumele.
“Avuxeni Community radio station is also going to portray the perennial problems that we have that include, border jumping, child marriages that have always hit hard our communities. This is going to be a mouthpiece of the problems we face as a community.”
Six community radio stations including Avuxeni FM were recently licenced and government is working with its partners to ensure that they get the necessary equipment to go on air within eighteen months from date of licensing.