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Gvt pledges to license more community radio stations

Story by Mercy Bofu

THE government says it recognises the importance of community radio stations as key drivers of development, hence more will be licenced in the next five years including those run by communities of interest and religious communities.

This Friday saw broadcasters from different community radio stations across the country converging at the Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) for the inaugural Radio Festival.

The event saw 23 community broadcasters from 14 community radio stations receiving certificates after going through a community broadcasting short course programme facilitated by the Great Zimbabwe Campus Radio.

“I want to thank the government for licensing more community radios in this country, as youths we are now employed and on top of that, we have been receiving training here on community broadcasting, news gathering, packaging and dissemination,” said a community broadcaster.

“In this era of fake news and social media, we learnt a lot about fact-checking hence we are going to improve the way we broadcast back home in Kariba,” said a Kariba broadcaster.

Officiating at the event on behalf of the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Dr Jenfan Muswere, Permanent Secretary Mr Nick Mangwana said community radios are bridging information gaps between rural and urban populace, hence more are to be licenced.

“Community radio stations are key drivers of development and enablers of information dissemination to the citizenry from the grassroots up to the national level. This event complements government Education 5.0 whose thrust includes having students lead in research and innovation as well as serving the community,” he said.

Great Zimbabwe University remains committed to the growth of the media sector and is working on establishing a Media and Journalism Centre of Excellence.

“As an institution, we have bigger ambitions, especially in ensuring the growth of the media sector. We are working on establishing a centre of excellence in media and journalism where we would like to have a campus TV, radio station, broadcasting academy and student-run newspaper all under the centre,” said GZU acting vice-chancellor, Professor Bernard Chazovachii.

GZU Radio Services director, Mr Golden Maunganidze said, “This training ending today is coinciding with the beginning of Radio Festival which is another giant step in us celebrating government efforts in liberalizing the broadcasting sector.”

The Second Republic has taken various measures to create a media-friendly environment including implementing legal reforms and licensing of new radio and television stations.

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