“The youth assembly is disappointed and our position is clear that we condemn the whole process. Condemning BAZ is not enough and as the youth assembly we have started lobbying and discrediting these radio stations.
“We want to make sure that they do not see the light of the day and we want to make sure advertisers and those that we and influence not to advertise in these radio stations until Mahoso and company see the light,” Bekithemba Nyathi, the youth chairperson of the MDC T youth assembly told journalists at a press conference on Tuesday.
The BAZ last month came under heavy criticism after it granted radio operating licences to AB Communications, a company owned by Supa Mandiwanzira, a supporter of Zanu (PF), and to state run media group regarded as Zanu PF’s and President Robert Mugabe’s mouthpiece, Zimpapers.
BAZ said other applicants to operate independent radio licences, Radio VOP and Kiss FM did not meet the criteria to be granted the licences, in what the Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai’s office said “is a farce that flies in the face of true media reforms and media plurality in Zimbabwe.”
The way it was done, Nyahti added, “is a slap on the face of issues of media reforms and everything which is a topical issue of the Global Political Agreement.”
Zimpapers are set to operate Zimpapers Talk Radio while AB Communications will open Zi Radio in the next six months.
Critics say the two will never be able to operate independently because of their close ties to Zanu-PF and the state which has a majority stake at Zimpapers. But Mandiwanzira, who has a controlling stake at AB Communications,has denied the charge and called on Zimbabweans to ‘give him a chance to broadcast and then judge him later.’