By Mandla Tshuma
A local community radio initiative Y-Star FM has called upon the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) to license community radio stations focusing on youth affairs, saying that component was overlooked when the regulator invited applications for licences by aspirants in February.
Y-Star FM is a Bulawayo-based community radio initiative.
In making calls for applications, BAZ chief executive officer, Obert Muganyura said community radios would cover marginalised communities and Matabeleland region would get seven of the 10 stations.
Community radio licences with a bias on language are for the following places: Hwange and Victoria Falls; Beitbridge and Shashi; Mbembesi; Manama and Legion; Empandeni, Maphosa, Ndolwane and Plumtree; Binga, Kamativi, Kariba, Mapengolo and Siabuwa; Chikombedzi, Chiredzi, Rutenga, Mahenye and Malipati; Chipinge, Chimanimani, Gwendingwe, Rusitu, Chibuwe; Shamva and Alaska as well as Rukotso and Susamoyo.
Harare and Bulawayo were excluded from the selected geographical areas.
Philani Ncube, Y-Star FM director said his organisation, which felt excluded from community radio categories outlined by BAZ, did not apply for the broadcasting licence.
“We didn’t apply,” Ncube told CITE.
“The calls that were made excluded the youth community. Actually, we would request the current government to recognise the youth communities, especially from this part of the country. There is a need to have a youth community radio, specifically focusing on youth issues.”