Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Radio VOP encouraged to stay on the air

Radio Voice of the People must not shut down shortwave programmes because the Government failed to license new players, a media expect and political commentator said. Media expect Takura Zhangazha contributed this during a plenary discussion titled “A liberalised electronic media environment in Zimbabwe, the end of a pipeline dream?” The discussion was held during Radio VOP 10th anniversary in Harare last week.

Mr Zhangazha said, ‘’The Inclusive Government must not coerce Radio VOP and other foreign radio stations to abandon shortwave if it can not reconstitute Broadcasting Service Act [BSA] to allow players to register. Laws infringe liberties of broadcasters, so remain on shortwave to be relevant’’.

‘’Nothing has changed on political landscape that can guarantee any radio station to get a licence. In fact, we have an array of repressive laws that must not deter you, but rather encourage you to remain strong. Laws such as Broadcasting Services Act, Interception of Communication Act, Criminal Law Codification Act as well as Post and Telecommunication Act of Zimbabwe [POTRAZ] do not give you the chance to operate. The authorities will never have power to shut you down on shorwave. Do not lose hope’’ said Mr Zhangazha.

Media Alliance of Zimbabwe co-ordinator Buhle Moyo said there was no justification of continued monopoly by Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation that has failed its mandate as a public broadcaster. ‘’Poor programming by ZBC is scaring away listeners and viewers as a national broadcaster. Patriotism must not be forced on us. It’s difficult to be associated with ZBC. Our children prefer foreign stations that offer variety’’ said Mr Moyo.
(Source: Radio VOP/R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)

* Radio VOP broadcasts to Zimbabwe via the RNW Madagascar relay station.

0358-0400 UTC on 9895 to Africa in English/Ndebele/Shona
0400-0500 UTC on 9875 to Africa in English/Ndebele/Shona
(Gayle Van Horn, Frequency Manager/MT Express)