Ministry working on ensuring universal access to information
By Staff reporter | 08 Feb 2020 at 16:30hrs
THE Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services has said it is working on ensuring universal access to information as it seeks to raise the broadcasting industry in the country to higher levels.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Ministry's chief director, Mr Chrispen Makoni, Permanent Secretary Mr Nick Mangwana said the Government had embarked on an initiative to assist communities in setting up radio infrastructure and support operations of community radio stations.
"The Government of Zimbabwe through our Ministry has made significant strides in ensuring that communities across the country receive radio signals thus there are currently six national radio stations and 10 commercial radio stations. In order to ensure universal access, the Ministry has embarked on a community radio station programme which will see marginalised communities receiving information and having their voices heard.
"The programme is being piloted in 10 communities and Manama is among the first communities which will benefit. A community radio station in Manama will result in the preservation of the Sotho language, culture, identity and help in the development of the community. Let me assure you that my Ministry envisages universal access to information and will work round the clock to ensure that the project becomes a resounding success," he said.
Mr Mangwana urged the community of Manama to rise to the occasion and submit their application to the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) .
Speaking at the same meeting, Matabeleland South Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Abednico Ncube expressed his gratitude towards the Ministry for bringing the grand opportunity to Matabeleland South Province.
Ncube lamented transmission problems for radio and television as well as poor access to mobile network services being experienced by most communities in the province.
He said this left communities marginalised and poorly informed. Ncube urged mainstream broadcasting service and mobile network service providers to rectify this anomaly as soon as possible.
BAZ board vice-chairperson Ms Audrey Chihota said community radio stations would be a great platform for communities to promote and showcase their local talent, would create employment opportunities, equip locals with skills training on broadcasting and provide a platform to showcase opportunities and cultures of various communities.
Community members from Manama welcomed Government's decision to prioritise their community in licensing a community radio station. They expressed their willingness and eagerness to ensure the project became a success.
Gwanda Rural District Council Chairperson, Joram Ndlovu said the community radio station was a huge blessing as it would not only benefit the community of Manama but also the entire constituency.
He urged the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services to follow through on their promise to pursue the project as some stakeholders had in the past promised development projects which they did not deliver.