INFORMATION, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Christopher Mushohwe yesterday got emotional, while being grilled by journalists over the government’s reluctance to issue community radio licences.
BY MUNESU NYAKUDYA
Mushohwe told the journalists that instead the government needed time “to do the right thing”.
“We were still waiting for the radio stations that we licensed to start operating. They have not complied fully and we wanted to make sure that there was a market for those licenced. What will be the point of issuing new licences when those you had issued before are not operational?” he said.
“Now that they have taken up, we are now focusing on community radio licences and I do not know what you want us to do. We have not delayed, give us time to do the right thing.”
Mushohwe said there was no reluctance to set up community radio stations, but it was a process.
“We started off with the national radio stations that we have licensed. We were waiting for some, which are yet to set up after which we will focus on community stations. In fact, there are community radio broadcasters in the country, what is left is licensing them,” he said.
“It is a process, not an event, so there is no turning back on looking at ways and means of licensing them. But you must understand that when you licence a radio or television station, there are rules that must be put in place, there are guiding rules and that is what we are working on.
“So, please, don’t go around and say community radio broadcasters are not wanted in Zimbabwe because they are already there,” he said.
Mushohwe said the government was yet to receive representation on reports of exorbitant licence fees.
“The appeals have not yet come to me, I am hearing it from you. If there are such appeals, let them come to me. I cannot answer before I even get those appeals,” he said.