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Mangwana Warns Community Radio Stations Against Political Content

Mangwana Warns Community Radio Stations Against Political Content

Community radio stations that broadcast political content will have their licences revoked.

This was said by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana, on Wednesday.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe, Media Professionalism workshop held at a local hotel in Bulawayo.

The workshop was on the launch of the report on media monitoring of the March 26 by-elections presented by Media Monitors Zimbabwe.

The Government has issued licences to 14 community radio stations, seven of which are in Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South provinces.

The Broadcasting Services Act stipulates that community radio stations should not broadcast political content.

Mangwana said Zimbabwe should learn from what happened in Kenya where community radio stations incited violence by broadcasting polarising political messages. Said Mangwana:

That is why we are so particular and we shall keep an eye on the community stations and make sure they stay within their mandate and are used as a vehicle for promoting cohesion rather than divisions.

The communities should come together to say we are dealing with environmental issues, we are dealing with conservation issues and issues like child marriages.

Unfortunately, the law gives authority to the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe permission to deregister those who believe that this is a vehicle for whipping political emotions.

It is the law, community radio stations are not supposed to be putting out there, political content. They are supposed to be dealing with issues of growth and development, and community cohesion among other things.

Zimbabwe is polarised; political issues are put at the height of the totem pole where they are not supposed to be.

Issues should be about community development, unity, our culture, and our way of life as a Zimbabwean people.

More: Chronicle

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