Saturday, November 22, 2008

Community Radio project gathers momentum

AN initiative by Mutare based journalists to set up a community radio station in the eastern border city is gathering momentum.

The community radio station, to be known as Kumakomo Community Radio Station, will broadcast news and events happening in Mutare and its immediate environs.

Community broadcasting is provided for under sections of the Broadcasting Services Act.

“The primary aim of setting up a community radio station in Mutare is to provide residents with a medium of communication,” said Kelvin Jakachira, chairman of Kumakomo Community Radio Station. “We want residents to have a platform to discuss and debate community issues.”

Jakachira, also national executive member of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists, said the community radio will shun political issues but will dwell exclusively on community issues such as HIV-Aids and other health related matters, farming, cultural issues, social and developmental issues, education, sport and entertainment.

Jakachira said they will soon embark on a massive awareness campaign to inform Mutare residents about community broadcasting.

“We soon will embark on road shows, public meetings and other activities throughout the city to let residents know about this project,” he said. “Residents of Mutare will be the owners of the community radio station.

Jakachira said his committee was happy with the positive responds they have received from community leaders in Mutare.

Other members of the committee include Chengetai Murimwa, a former journalist for the defunct Eastern Star and Tambudzai Zindi, former Manica Post senior reporter.

A board of trustees has already been put in place. It is chaired by Mutare based educationist Daniel Chigudu.

Jakachira said Zimbabwe was one of the few countries in Africa that id not have community radio stations.

He said in countries such as Mozambique and South Africa community radio stations were very popular.

“We can not be left behind in the information highway,” he said, adding: “In these days of advanced information systems community radio can offer some form of media education thereby creating an information culture.”

Jakachira said his committee will go on a fundraising campaign to raise funds for the project. He said the community radio station should be self sustained.