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ZACRAS statement on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day
Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS)
May 02, 2013

Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS) notes the commemoration of the World Press Freedom day, which is universally, celebrated every 3rd of May. This is a day on which we all pause, reflect and salute the efforts of men and women who work tirelessly day and night to assist global citizens understand one another through the media. The theme for this year is “Safe to speak- security of freedom of expression in all media”.

In commemorating this day, we give honour to men and women in the media industry who have contributed in the creation of a better Zimbabwe. We note with gratitude the efforts made by volunteers of community radio stations in communities dotted around the country, and urge the government of Zimbabwe to compliment these efforts by embracing the community radio sector as a critical tool for development.

ZACRAS remains convinced that community radios are the missing link in the communication revolution in the country, as they are an invaluable asset for our communities to develop. Our feeling is that the government has not accorded this important sector the attention it deserves to enable it to develop together with other sectors. We say the journey has been long but we sense the morning dew!

We also salute colleagues in the mainstream print and broadcasting sector who have been key pillars in our society, relaying and helping in interpreting the signs of the times. More recently, as Zimbabwe went through a transition clearly marked by the adoption of a new constitution.

To an extent, ZACRAS acknowledges the efforts by the Government of Zimbabwe for bringing on board new media players onto our landscape in Zimbabwe. While noting progress made thus far, we would like to bring to your attention that more still needs to be done especially in the broadcasting sector to make sure that citizens are exposed to diverse voices. We also urge the government to deal decisively with the culture of impunity which has seen law enforcement agents unilaterally banning citizens from legitimate use of solar powered radio gadgets to access information. In the same vein, the government should ensure that there is a properly constituted independent broadcasting regulatory board.

ZACRAS acknowledges the completion of the Constitution making exercise and notes the reasonably adequate provisions on the media. We however call for the enactment of progressive media legislation which complements the media provisions in the new Constitution. We further call for a visible political will to create a conducive broadcasting environment and encourage authorities to:

1. Recognize and licence genuine community radios so that Zimbabwe will have a three tier broadcasting scenario as provided by the African Charter on broadcasting,

2. Immediately constitute an independent broadcasting commission as espoused in the draft constitution to deal with the licensing of broadcasting media,

3. Cease the use of the public broadcaster as a hate speech-churning tool,

4. Make practical efforts that prepare the nation for the digitalization era in 2015,

5. Desist from deliberately frustrating efforts to use alternative media for the promotion of access to information as was the case when the police banned solar powered- radios with shortwave reception.


1. Community Radio Harare - CORAH - Harare
2. Berina Community Radio Initiative - Kadoma
3. Radio Dialogue - Bulawayo
4. Patsaka Community Radio Initiative - Kariba
5. Getjenge Community Radio Initiative - Plumtree
6. Nkayi Community Radio Initiative - Nkayi
7. Kwekwe Community Radio Initiative - Kwekwe
8. Nkabazwe Community Radio Initiative - Gweru
9. WeZhira Community Radio Initiative - Masvingo
10. Ntepe Community Radio - Gwanda
11. Y-Star FM - Bulawayo
12. Kumakomo Community Radio Initiative - Mutare
13. Hwange Community Radio Initiative - Hwange

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