Media experts in the country have blasted government for its failure to liberalise airwaves saying that there is nothing to celebrate on the World Radio Day.
As the world, today celebrate radio, Zimbabwe has nothing to celebrate as the government is reluctant to open airwaves.
In an interview with 263Chat, Chris Mhike, a legal expert urged government to free the airwaves and develop the state of the country’s broadcasting sector.
“While most of the countries in the world celebrate, World Radio Day unfortunately for Zimbabweans there is very little to celebrate given the glaringly undeveloped state of our broadcasting service,” said Mhike.
Mhike also condemned the failure of information, media and broadcasting services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo to attend the commemorations of the World Radio Day.
“Whatever reason for the minister not to turn up at world radio day commemorations, his absence at the commemorations is symbolic of the government’s shortcomings in the liberalisation of the airwaves,” he said.
Kudzai Kwangware the Programs Officer of Zimbabwe Association of Community Radios Stations (ZACRAS) called upon government to license community radio stations.
“Community radio licensing must also be a key priority. Zimbabwe lags behind most of its regional counterparts in the development of radio, hence there is need to start freeing the airwaves,” said Kwangware.
Zenzele Ndebebe, the Director of Radio Dialogue, this morning via his Twitter account vowed that government will never licence community radio stations.
“This government has no interest in community radios, so there is no need to celebrate. Celebrating what?” asked Ndebele.
Another Twitter user, Melusi Manabe said: “We can only celebrate when Dialogue Radio, Nehanda Radio get licensed proving beyond doubt that there is freedom of broadcasting.”
2015 marks the fourth annual world radio day and the day is about celebrating radio, why we love it and need it more than ever.
This year’s World Radio Day in Zimbabwe is running under theme Broadcasting Diversity and Pluralism — Beyond 2015, while internationally it is running under the theme Youth & Radio.
Photo credit: en.wikipedia.org