Community Radio Stations Transform Rural Communities
Nevanji Munyaradzi Chiondegwa
The establishment of community radio stations has transformed rural areas into focused and united communities addressing accurate and reliable information on political, economic and social issues, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, has said.
Speaking during a post-Cabinet briefing yesterday, Minister Mutsvangwa said the stations have become authoritative sources of accurate and reliable information on voter registration, health issues and the Second Republic’s Vision 2030.
“In that regard, the following progress is being reported: the completed Nyami Nyami FM expansion and re-launch to Platinum FM in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West Province was commissioned on 15 April 2023; the Beitbridge Shashe Community Radio Station was completed and launched on 18 February 2023,” she said.
Mbembesi Radio Community Trust has secured a studio building and installation of equipment is ongoing, while Radio Bukalanga in Plumtree District has identified a site to operate from, trained staff and procured studio equipment.
Other community radio stations include the Madziwa Community Radio Trust in Mashonaland Central Province, which has identified the site, trained staff and procured studio equipment.
There is also the Twasampuka Community Radio Station in Binga District.
“In order to bridge the rural-to-urban information gap, the Ministry has re-introduced the mobile cinema also known as the Bioscope Interactive Outreach Programme. During the current cycle, the programme was rolled out to Manicaland Province at Kopa and Ngangu in Chimanimani District, and at Gaza and Madziyire in Buhera District,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Commenting on the impact of community radio stations, Minister Mutsvangwa said the project had revolutionised communities through the creation of employment and identification of talent, among other benefits.
“It has been a great achievement. We have walked the talk of universal access to information,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
She said some of the areas with community radio stations are marginalised communities.
Minister Mutsvangwa said they were working with development partners to ensure the viability and sustainability of the project while the Broadcasting Services Act will be amended to ensure an elaborate way of mobilising resources.
Meanwhile, Power FM and National FM Transmission Studio Modernisation Project is progressing well and now awaits shipment of equipment from Germany.