GREAT Zimbabwe University (GZU) is calling on the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) to assist with the licensing of their radio station that has been lying idle since 2017.
The institution established a radio station two years ago at the Culture and Heritage Studies campus in Masvingo city, but it is yet to go on air as it has no operating licence.
The radio station, a first its kind in the country, once functional, will help students doing journalism studies acquire hands-on broadcasting skills.
In an interview recently, GZU Vice Chancellor Rungano Zvobgo said the radio station could have started airing long back as they have all the necessary equipment, but the delay by BAZ to give them a licence was stalling operations.
"We've procured state-of-the-art equipment from China and we're ready to roll. We're just waiting to be permitted to operate by the licensing authorities," said Zvobgo.
He said while the radio station that will broadcast within a 60km radius of Masvingo will be accessed by the city's residents, it will also be available online for those outside Masvingo.
Zvobgo said the station, while it is meant to train students, will also provide the community with specific programmes like culture and heritage where people like chiefs will be invited for discussions. This will also benefit the Culture and Heritage students.
"Let me disabuse you from the notion that the radio station is meant to serve the community. We train journalists and we want them to have hands-on skills as part of their training.
"The radio station will also look into some of the challenges affecting our community. It should also be a mouthpiece of the community, but it will largely remain a teaching and learning instrument," he said.
GZU applied for a radio station licence when another Masvingo station - Hevoi applied for theirs about two years ago. They were turned down as BAZ was only licensing commercial radio stations then. They were advised to wait for the call for non-commercial stations.
The university is however optimistic that the station will soon be on air. Zvobgo said GZU is the first university to launch a radio station and as such, will need the assistance of the corporate world for sponsorship in order for it to remain viable.
"The need for a radio station for a growing university like GZU cannot be over-emphasised. We're talking of a student population of 16 000 and the radio shall be used to deliver mass lectures to many campuses of the university.
"We'll also expect corporates to come to the party once we start broadcasting."