By Steve Ephraim
CHIMANIMANI based community radio; Chimanimani FM that was officially opened on July 8, 2022 shall play a pivotal role in the Eastern region of the country for information dissemination.
Chimanimani just like other parts of Chipinge, Nyanga which are close the neighboring Mozambique have gone for decades without local frequency.
Majority listen to Short-Wave radio and with the coming of satellite, they have managed to watch TV. This is due to geographic setup, even mobile network is a challenge because of mountains.
The Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Hon Senator Monica Mutsvangwa spoke of the disaster that happened 2 years ago, Cyclone Idai which saw many people losing lives, property and live stocks, during the launch at Chimanimani Village Grounds.
With the country going into general elections, voter and identity registration programs recorded low turn due to information barriers and the community radio stations will play a critical role in informing citizens on programs and events going on.
Chimanimani FM is among the 14 community radio stations which were licensed by Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe and is the third to be officially opened following the launch of Avuxeni FM of Chiredzi and Nyangani FM of Nyanga.
The radio station was established with support from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and is part of World Bank-funded Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP) coordinated by the United Nations Office for Project Offices (UNOPS).
Chimanimani is close to Mozambique and the are being prone to cyclones from Madagascar, the radio has some solar powered flood warning equipment installed at the radio station which helps to monitor the emerging of floods.
Hon Sen. Monica Mutsvangwa indicated the Chimanimani FM had a role to play in warning people of floods.
“The thrust of the radio station is to strengthen the resilience of the region given its vulnerability to cyclone induced flooding.
“A radio station is not expected to divide people but should broadcast issues that unite them. People should be advised on developmental programs through the radio. The radio should leave no one behind,” said Hon Mutsvangwa.
Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) CEO Tendai Kapumha told the Post On Sunday Newspaper that after the completion of the digitization program Zimbabwe will have a total of 24 TV stations.
“More private players are free to license their radio stations. Community Radios stations are using the same spectrum and in no way should obstruct the issuance of licenses for commercial use,” she said.
Meanwhile 6 television licenses were issued and Kapumha added the player are still within their legal time to go on air.
“The planning of allocation of frequencies takes into consideration the Public Broadcasting, Commercial Broadcasting and Community Radios,” said Kapumha.
3KTV and ZTN Prime have gone on air. The Public Broadcaster has launched Jive TV and News24.
The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Manicaland Hon Nokuthula Matsikenyere and Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana graced the event.