By Vumani Mthiyane
The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has offered a radio frequency spectrum to the Sotho community of Manama and its peripheries.
Addressing the Manama community during a recent community radio awareness campaign organised by the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services in collaboration with BAZ, vice-chairperson Audrey Chiwota said the only available spectrum is on 103.8 Frequency Modulation.
“We have so far allocated 10 frequency spectrums that are to be allocated to marginalised communities and Manama is one of the beneficiaries who will be broadcasting under 103.8 Frequency Modulation,” explained BAZ vice-chairperson.
“I, therefore, urge the Manama community to come up with a community radio structure that will suit our prerequisites. The station must be fully owned by the community. I had one of the participants taking about resource mobilisation from other partners. Yes, it’s a good idea but you have to remain focused that the station is for us, by us, with and about us.”
Responding to her presentation, Ward 17 Councillor Ephraim Nyathi said as a community they have been waiting for the call for community radio licencing for the past 11 years.
“Finally, we are happy that you have decided to give us a community radio license.
I am glad to announce that the Sotho people have an existing structure under the banner of Ntepe community radio station which has a fully fletched board, an editorial department, content programming and we are ready for licensing.
The structure was established in 2009 for the sole purpose of developing our community,” said the Councillor.
A Manama teacher, Nkosiyenkosi Sibanda also welcomed the move by the ministry and BAZ saying this a noble idea that will help them explain the new educational curriculum to the parents.
“The new educational curriculum speaks of sports, arts and culture but parents do not understand it as they want their children to concentrate on academics only.
With a community radio in place, this will be a great opportunity for both us teachers and pupils to go and air our views about the new curriculum.
We are therefore being thankful to BAZ for coming up with this noble idea a giving us a community radio station,” said teacher Sibanda.
Adding weight to their contributions, the Minister of State for Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs, Abedinico Ncube who is also the MP for Gwanda South constituency said BAZ is coming at the right time to fill in the gap.
“As a minister, I would like to tell you that your programme is coming at the right time because people of Mat South have no access to information be it newspapers or Broadcasting.
“We rely on foreign stations such as studio 7, South Africa and Botswana Stations. So Manama community radio station will fill the missing link,” said the Minister of State, Abedinico Ncube.