The move to establish a Tonga community radio station in my home district of Binga is political gimmick aimed at bolstering ZANU-(PF)’s propaganda in the MDC dominated area ahead of the anticipated elections next year.
Transmedia Corporation (Pvt) Ltd, is the organization that embarked on the transmission upgrading project in the area that would pave way for the setting up of not only the first community radio station in the area, but in Zimbabwe.
The people of Binga never wished for a community radio station, the people of Binga have three wishes, water, proper infrastructure (roads) and improved health care facilities. State media claim this was the initiative of Minister of Information and Publicity following his discussion with Binga local leadership, but Binga local leadership not dazed to ask for a community radio station when they have no water for both themselves and their livestock’s.
Other than that the government should have no business setting up radio stations. “ The government’s role must be to facilitate a conducive environment for communities to set up their own radio stations.
A number of organizations have been fighting for the opening up of the airwaves including the setting up of community radio stations but the government has not been willing. Why this sudden interest in Binga when scores of community radio initiatives throughout the country are queuing to be licensed? it is clear that the government sponsored Binga community radio station is a political gimmick.
“Why has Tran media not been guided by the wishes of radio initiatives such as Radio Dialogue, Radio VOP and many more who have been denied licenses to operate radio stations in this country?
“The government through the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Authority (BAZ) should simply allow more players to compete in the broadcasting sector. This current situation where the government is both the referee and the players is unacceptable.
I’m certain that the people of Binga were not consulted and if the consultations were made, the people were going to simply reject this government sponsored radio station because we already have our own community radio initiative, which is waiting to be licensed. This project is yet another desperate move by the ZANU-PF to gain ground in Binga. But as someone from I’m confident to say this initiative won’t make any deference, freezing and withdrawal of aid food, during the 2004 famine as method of punishing the Binga electorate for voting the opposition proved that the people of Binga when they say enough they mean it. You can try starve them, open propagandist radio stations and whatsoever but they won’t reverse their minds.
By Ephraim Ntlamo