Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s (ZBC) newest commercial radio station, Central Radio, based in Gweru went on air on Friday.
The commercial radio station, which will be on frequency 95.8 comes about four months after ZBC successfully launched Khulumani FM based in Bulawayo, which went on air on March 2.
Addressing members of the media at a brief ceremony in Gweru on Friday, ZBC chief executive Patrick Mavhura said the corporation was in the process of decentralising radio to the provinces.
He said they had managed to go on air before the end of the Government’s second rapid results initiative 100 days.
“We have come here for this ceremony to see Central Radio go on air. An official launch programme will be held sometime later, but today we are just going on air. We are happy with the progress we have made in going on air in the second 100 days rapid results initiative that has been set by the new Government. We are taking radio right to the people,” said Mr Mavhura.
He said Central Radio station will be mainly broadcasting in Shona, Ndebele and English.
“But since we are in the Midlands province, we are open to all the other languages spoken by the people here,” said Mr Mavhura.
He said the radio station would be targeting the middle aged and elderly.
“Central Radio will deliver programmes that focus on sport, business, industry, news and current affairs and can be heard in Kwekwe, Zhombe, Shurugwi up to about 20km from Zvishavane, Mvuma, Shangani and farming areas that include Lower Gweru and Chiwundura,” he said.
“The establishment of Central Radio comes after the rebranding of Spot FM to Classic 263 and this shows the continuous expansion of ZBC and reaffirms our position as a national broadcaster that is committed to fulfilling its mandate of entertaining, educating and informing the entire nation of Zimbabwe.”
Mr Mavhura said the opening of the radio station had created employment for the people in the province.
Central Radio becomes the second commercial radio station to be based in Gweru after AB Communications’ 98.4 Midlands, which started broadcasting a year ago.
Meanwhile, 98.4 Midlands FM held its first anniversary celebrations over the weekend during an event that was held at Cathedral Hall.