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MISA-Zimbabwe relaunches Community radio initiatives in Mutare and Masvingo
May 17, 2004

MISA-Zimbabwe’s Advocacy Department on 14 and 15 May re-launched community radio broadcasting initiatives in Mutare and Masvingo respectively.

The aim of the project is to engage communities in these cities to come up with community radio station programmes. The launch also saw the stakeholders nominating interim committees, which are going to spearhead the initiatives until March 2005.

Present at the Mutare launch were representatives of Non-Governmental Organisations, members of the Pastors fraternity, media practitioners, media lawyers, the business community, members of the city council, the public and police.

In a Speech read on his behalf, Mutare Mayor, Misheck Kaugurabadza expressed gratitude at the role to be played by the proposed radio station which he said, if realized, would positively enhance and improve the life of the community by educating, entertaining and informing the residents of the city.

"Mutare city council has taken cognizance of the fact that residents should not only be consulted but should also participate and contribute in all civic matters in a bid to enhance transparency, accountability and social responsibility. In this regard, Council has come up with an advisory committee for the city, which is made up of its key stakeholders in the furtherance of its purpose of existence, goals, objectives, strategic vision and mission. It is through the establishment of the proposed community radio station that the information on developmental matters will be disseminated to residents of the city," said the mayor.

Mayor Kagurabadza said the proposal was a welcome development to the council as it would provide a ready and accessible channel of communication with and amongst residents of Mutare.

At the launch of the Masvingo initiative, that was also attended by members of the civic society, the Mayor of Masvingo Mr. Alois Chaimiti urged all stakeholders in Masvingo to support the initiative that is going to focus on strengthening developmental processes while serving interests of the community.

"Zimbabwe permits community radio stations under the Broadcasting Services Act, (BSA), although it has not, as yet issued an announcement for community radio license applications. There will be need for aspiring community broadcasters to be told any regulations and procedures that will enable them to broadcast," he said

He urged MISA-Zimbabwe to facilitate the formation of the radio stations by providing financial and technical support.

Facilitating the launch of both initiatives, the Acting Advocacy Officer for MISA-Zimbabwe Wilbert Mandinde said it was the responsibility of the respective communities to propound ways in which they could lobby for the introduction of radio stations in the community. He pledged MISA-Zimbabwe’s support at every stage in the formulation of ways of enhancing the community initiatives.

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