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Mugabe envoy offside: Zacras

by Staff Reporter
22 May 2014 at 09:48hrs | Views

Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS) has condemned statements by President Robert Mugabe's spokesperson George Charamba that government would soon make the organisation irrelevant by issuing licences to community radio stations.

ZACRAS Chairperson Gift Mambipiri said Zimbabwe is at a stage where there is need for government to join hands with other progressive forces in seeking to promote developmental interventions in the country.

"Our view is that, the approach by Charamba should not be that of wishing the absence of the Association or any other groups advocating for the same. Rather, Charamba's approach should be one which is constructive and showing a willingness to embrace and work with organisations such as ZACRAS.

"For your own information  Charamba, ZIMASSET would be better known, understood and implemented in the presence of functioning community radios-than without," Mambipiri said.

"Since the attainment of Zimbabwe's independence in 1980, no community radio has been issued an operating licence. As such, the work of ZACRAS has mainly centred on calling for the licensing of the community radio sector, so as to give communities platforms to be heard. However, this has not meant that the work of ZACRAS starts and ends there."

Mambipiri said it was unfortunate that Charamba has narrowed down the work of ZACRAS to just be about licensing.

"Broadly speaking, ZACRAS strives to promote community radio interests, and at the same time, assist communities in the establishment of community radio structures across Zimbabwe," he said.

"Upon establishment of community radio structures, ZACRAS offers assistance through conceptual and technical training. Ultimately, the mission of ZACRAS is to empower communities in Zimbabwe to have sustainable, strong, vibrant, autonomous community driven radio stations.

"ZACRAS therefore wishes to put it on record that it is misleading for George Charamba to state that the current set up of community radio structures is not inclusive of other interest groups.

"Charamba, ZACRAS is and shall continue advocating for the recognition of community radio interests in Zimbabwe. No one can stop the work around community radio from progressing. The concept of community radio will go forth boldly and nobly, till it has penetrated every community, sounded in every ear and till community radios have become a reality."

Source - Byo24News