Mandiwanzira, the chief executive officer of AB Communications which is seeking a licence to operate Zi FM battled to cleanse himself from accusations that he had been endorsed to represent ZANU PF in pending elections scheduled for next year.
ZANU PF secretary for administration Hon. Didymus Mutasa recently anointed the former ZBC, SABC and Al Jazeera news anchor and correspondent to contest for a parliamentary seat in Nyanga under a ZANU PF ticket in planned parliamentary elections scheduled for 2012.
The State-run Manica Post newspaper made the disclosure in a report carried early this month claiming that Mutasa backed Mandiwanzira’s bid to challenge the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) legislator for Nyanga South Hon. Willard Chimbetete. But on Tuesday Mandiwanzira attempted to distance himself from the
media reports and argued that he had not yet proclaimed his interest to stand for political office.
“I haven’t announced any intention to join politics. The people of Nyanga want me to join politics but I haven’t announced that,” said Mandiwanzira who fielded questions from the Tafataona Mahoso led BAZ.
The BAZ conducted its third public hearing where Mandiwanzira told BAC commissioners and members of the public that as chief executive officer of Zi FM, the trading name of AB Commnucations, he holds 70 percent shareholding in the new prospective broadcaster, while interim chairman and former Rainbow Tourism Group chief executive officer, Hebert Nkala, holds 15 percent. A Mr Mandinyenya holds 5 percent shareholding while Urban Brew, a South African company, which is Zi FM’s technical partner, holds 10 percent equity.
Youth empowerment outfit Upfumi Kuvadiki supported Mandiwanzira’s bid to run a radio station during the hearing which was attended by broadcasters Bridgette Gavanga and artists such as Stunner and Audius Mtawarira.
In response to a question from BAZ chairperson Tafatona Mahoso about his “understanding of national events” Mandiwanzira said Zi FM would “pay attention and celebrate national events such as independence day, defence forces day, deaths of national heroes and other heroes outside the political realm such as arts and sports luminaries.
On Thursday, Voxmedia Private Limited trading as VOP FM will appear before the BAZ panel.