Politics & General News

Community radios: the myths, dynamics, funding and politics

Community radio establishment and the initial set up has been heavily debated and politicized in Zimbabwe in such a way that setting up of community radio is now a tall order in this country as government has come up with different and confusing definitions of what is community radio throwing all hope in the drain, but thanks also to government which taken heed of pressure from media groups lobbying for setting up of community radios, the government has announced that licensing of community radios is now on the cards.

The government is or was at sixes and sevens in terms of defining community radios origins in the communities, how these community radio initiatives are funded and how these initiatives have established themselves on communities they claim to represent.

“Some of these community radios are now acting as commercial radios as they have whined themselves from communities they claim to represent. The community radios that sprang up and imposed themselves on communities which were ignorant on how community radios operate and represent are now confused on the genuine identity of community radios in their areas. Some of these community radios are now run by individuals who have hijacked the initiatives for their own benefits. This has been compounded by the draconian and undemocratic Board of Trustees which make founder members life members. Such community radios should be condemned with contempt they deserve as they place community radio initiatives in a fix,” said a community radio advocate Gracious Ndlovu.

The management of a community radio station is entrusted to the community radio council or board trustees, which gets the mandate from community not vice versa In Zimbabwe it depends which political basket one is in order to be granted broadcasting licence.

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