Zimbabwe: Zimpapers to Introduce Radio Station

Published by the government of Zimbabwe

Zvamaida Murwira

21 October 2011

IMBABWE Newspapers (1980) Limited is ready to introduce a radio station to articulate Zimbabwe’s aspirations, celebrate its culture and promote social cohesion, the firm’s board chairperson Dr Paul Chimedza has said.

He said the project, to be launched within few months of securing a licence, will reflect positive language, build hope and reflect Zimbabwe’s cultural and ethnic diversity.

The news content, he said, will portray life in a resurgent Zimbabwe.

Dr Chimedza said this during a Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe public hearing in which Zimpapers, one of the four shortlisted firms, is seeking a radio licence.

BAZ has shortlisted four firms out of the 14 applicants.

Zimpapers Talk Radio was the second firm to attend the public hearing after Hot Media (Kiss FM) made its presentation on Tuesday.

AB Communications and Vox Media Productions (VOP) are due to make their presentations next week.

Kiss FM directors include musician Oliver Mutukudzi, businesswoman Ms Sharon Mugabe, BancABC boss Douglas Munatsi, former Radio Three (now Power FM) staffers Musi Khumalo and Tonderayi Ndoro, Phibion Gwatidzo, Trevor Samusodza among others.

AB Communications has journalist Supa Mandiwanzira, Abigail Mvududu, Farai Rwodzi, Bruce Mujeyi, Farai Matsika, Trust Dube and Pachawo Chipurira as directors.

VOP is led by David Masunda, lawyers Mr Arnold Tsunga and Mr Tafadzwa Mugabe and Nhlanhla Ngwenya among others.

In his presentation, Dr Chimedza said Zimpapers Talk Radio was a 24-hour radio station.

“The project comes at a time Zimbabwe is coming out of a decade of political polarisation, economic hardships, social disenchantment and a state of hopelessness. People are now looking forward to a new era of economic revival, hope, peace and prosperity.

“On the economic front, factories are reopening, new shopping malls are being built, agriculture is beginning to pick up as evidenced by the record tobacco crop by new farmers and the mining sector is booming, while tourism and other sectors are also looking up.”

Dr Chimedza said his roles as chairperson for Zimpapers and Transmedia boards were complementary.

He was responding to concerns raised by BAZ chairperson Dr Tafataona Mahoso on whether his dual role would not constitute conflict of interest.

He said he will recuse himself when deliberating an issue that might be perceived to be in conflict of interest.

BAZ commissioners also wanted to know if Zimpapers would not duplicate ZBC radio coverage since Transmedia had some pockets that it did not cover.

Dr Chimedza however said Zimpapers will provide funding to Transmedia to buy transmitters and enhance its coverage.

“Currently, Transmedia has one client (ZBH), for it to grow it should have many clients. Lack of funding is one reason why it has some pockets that are not covered,” he said.

Zimpapers business development and marketing director Mr Tapuwa Mandimutsira said the company had a wealth of both financial and human resource base to undertake the project.

He said minority languages will be catered for, adding that Zimpapers had made comprehensive research on the need for another radio station.

Another board member, Dr Munyaradzi Kereke, said the fact that Zimpapers had incurred a loss in its half year trading did not mean that it did not have the financial muscle to launch a radio station.

“You might have bumper harvests in successive seasons, but have drought for one season . . . it does not mean you will have hunger that season because your granaries would be full,” he said.

He said Zimpapers board member Mr Delma Lupepe had ceased to be director of Sedden Investments, which is also seeking a radio licence.

Dr Kereke was responding to a question from BAZ whether Mr Lupepe was not in conflict of interest by sitting on the boards of competing firms.

Zimpapers group chief executive officer Mr Justin Mutasa, group chief operating officer Mr Pikirayi Deketeke and other senior managers attended the hearing.

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