Ray Bande in CHIMANIMANI
RADIO stations being established across the country must not be misused in promoting hate speech, but rather contribute to fostering development and early warning systems during disasters, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Manicaland now has a third operational radio station and yesterday, hundreds of people from different walks of life gathered for the Chimanimani FM official launch.
Chimanimani FM community radio station, which is accessible at 100.0 on the FM dial, comes after the establishment of Zimpapers owned Diamond FM and another community radio station Nyangani FM in the country’s south eastern province.
Speaking during the official launch of Chimanimani FM, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Senator Monica Mutsvangwa warned staff and the community against perpetrating hate speech through community radio stations.
“Let us remind each other that these radio stations are not meant to propagate hate speech. Remember there are laws that govern the content and operations of what comes out on air. Therefore, we need these radio stations to promote development and enhance our disaster preparedness mechanisms rather than promote hate and division among us,” said Sen Mutsvangwa.
She said community radio stations are meant to promote talent identification and promotion.
“The thrust is to identify and promote talent. We have seen it here through drama and poetry that Chimanimani has a lot of talent. We must ensure this station helps promote that talent. We need to ensure that we leave no one and no place behind in the New Dispensation development agenda,” the Minister said.
In a separate speech during the same occasion, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Mrs Thumisang Thabela said the setting up of radio stations is augmenting the thrust to reduce face to face learning.
“As a Ministry, we are grateful for the establishment of community radio stations as they come in handy in reducing the traditional face to face learning system. We learnt of the importance of this trajectory during the Cyclone Idai and Covid-19 pandemic periods where some areas were inaccessible while physical presence of teachers and learners in a classroom was not advisable or possible,” she said.
Chimanimani FM board chairperson Mrs Mercy Saco thanked the Government for prioritising Chimanimani in establishment of radio stations.
She pleaded for corporate and stakeholder assistance in sustaining the station.
“We are really thankful to the Government for making sure Chimanimani also has a radio station during the initial stages of the process to establish community radio stations across the country. It makes us, as people of Chimanimani, feel wanted and consoled especially in view of the challenges we faced during Cyclone Idai. Now that we have this station here, we humbly plead with the corporate community as well as all the stakeholders that we have moved with from the start of this journey, to continue supporting us in order to ensure sustainability of the station. These young men and women are working their hearts out on a voluntary basis but they also have families and bellies to feed,” said Mrs Saco.
In her solidarity speech, Zimpapers public relations officer Mrs Pauline Matanda pledged to continue rendering technical support to Chimanimani FM.
“We are happy to have more players in the industry as this improves quality through competition. As an elder sister and bigger institution, we will continue supporting Chimanimani FM in any way we can especially on technical aspects of our work as players in the media industry,” she said.
Several partners that delivered solidarity messages during the official launch, that include Zimpapers, UNOPS, UNESCO, Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ), ZBC and Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC), among many others, commended Government for opening up the media space in the country.