FOUR aspiring Bulawayo-based broadcasting firms have been shortlisted for licensing by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ).
BAZ is a statutory body tasked with the licensing of television and radio stations.
It sparked controversy when it issued two national radio licences in 2011 as part of reforms pushed by the then coalition government.
The licences were handed to ZiFM, owned by Supa Mandiwanzira, and the State-owned Zimpapers group’s Star FM.
However, not a single firm from Matabeleland South was shortlisted. Most Matabeleland South inhabitants listen to South African and Botswana radio stations as well as pirate stations due to poor reception.
During a recent Information and Media Panel of Inquiry outreach in Matabeleland, people expressed concern over persisting lack of radio and television signals and called on the government to speed up the setting up of community radio stations.
In Bulawayo, FairTalk Communications (Pvt) Ltd trading as Skyz FM, Skies Radio (Pvt) Ltd trading as Skies Radio, Carryslot (Pvt) Ltd trading as Skyz FM and Masego Multimedia (Pvt) Ltd trading as Bulawayos’ Finest made the cut.
Bulawayo has one community radio station, Radio Dialogue, which has been denied a commercial licence over the years.