Tuesday, 9 June 2020

ONLY TWO APPLICATIONS FOR COMMUNITY RADIO LICENCES


The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) says only two community radio stations applications have been lodged ahead of the 31st July deadline.

BAZ said this when it appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services to respond to questions regarding Statutory Instrument 39 of 2020 and the criteria used in awarding Great Zimbabwe University a community radio licence.

Makonde Legislator Kindness Paradza inquired on the number of community radio licences BAZ has been processing considering that a deadline is looming.
In response BAZ Senior Legal Officer Joice Kubukai said only two applications had been received.

“Only two applications from Beitbridge and Plumtree have been received and the other one from Chiredzi which we have failed to categorise but we are assisting them in ensuring their papers are in order. We are not happy with the response, probably it’s the mentality that it’s difficult to obtain the licence hence the granting of a licence to GZU,” she said.

Chairman of the portfolio committee Prince Dube also quizzed BAZ board on the process being undertaken.

“You are in the process of receiving applications and set 31st July as the deadline and committee is privy that you have issued a license to GZU, what is the legal basis and what is special about that?” he asked.

“Wish to note that the authority has 3 classes of licence that is national commercial, campus and applications for community radio and tv. Campus radio stations were not given timelines and are not subject to competition. The criteria used for GZU is that it is the only university which submitted for campus radio and the licence was granted on the 6th March 2020 and there is no reason to wait for other institutions to submit their applications as frequencies for campus radio are specific, issuance encourages other universities to submit their applications,” said Sibanda.

Statutory Instrument 39 of 2020 came under discussion with members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee recommending the removal of a section which incorporates law and order in the governance structure of community radio stations. ZBC

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