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Radio stations not political tools: Minister

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MEDIA, Information and Broadcasting Services deputy minister Supa Mandiwanzira has said community radio stations that would be licensed soon should not be used as political tools by individuals.

STAFF REPORTER

Addressing guests at the commemoration of World Radio Day in Harare last week, Mandiwanzira said the ministry was committed to multiple radio stations but was against individuals who claimed to be representing a community yet they had other motives.

“Since we were sworn into office last year, the ministry has taken an initiative to revive and introduce more radio players in the broadcasting industry in this country. The body is in the process of adjudication on the applicants and should conclude in the next three months,” Mandiwanzira said.

“There are two private radio stations here, but by this time next year, there will be many radio stations; more regional stations.”
Mandiwanzira said government would see to it that genuine community radio stations got licences.

“The point we want to make is to clearly define a community radio station. There is a difference between individuals who come together wanting a radio station and a community. That should not be a community. You can’t be a community radio station when you are an individual,” he said.

He said every member of a community, including chiefs and headmen, should have a say in a community radio station. He said there was concern at the lack of interest from applicants who chose to apply for Harare and Bulawayo licences but ignored other communities like Plumtree, Bindura, Beitbridge and many others.

Radio, Mandiwanzira said, should not be used for political purposes but for the benefit of the people.

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