Zimbabwe's Radio Running Out Of Patience

“It is now one and a half years since the three political parties arrived at The Global Political Agreement (GPA).  The issues on which agreement was reached include “the immediate processing of all applications for registration in terms of the Broadcasting Services Act “.

“For five years now, Radio Dialogue have been meeting with government on the issue of community radio licensing,” it said in a statement. “The GPA brought great hope that, at last, licences would be issued.  For sixteen months now the people of Bulawayo have been waiting for the Inclusive Government to fulfil its promises.  But this has been in vain.”

“The community of Bulawayo want to hear Radio Dialogue broadcasting, and we are now losing patience with government.  There has been a lot of talk, but no progress whatsoever, in implementing the GPA as far as broadcasting is concerned.  We are losing confidence in the Inclusive Government’s desire, or ability, to complete the liberation of our nation by freeing the airwaves.”

Radio Dialogue submitted its application to the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe in January 2005.  Along with applications from all other potential radio stations, this was refused.

“When the Inclusive Government was formed last year, we were therefore expecting the immediate processing of our application. We do not even know whether there is a legitimate Broadcasting Authority in place.  One has been announced by the Minister, but then rejected by the Deputy Minister and the Prime Minister.   Who is to call for and process any applications?”

“Government continually complains about broadcasts beamed in from outside the country.  The best way to deal with these is to license new stations to broadcast inside Zimbabwe,” said the statement.

Zanu PF has said there will be no more concessions to the GPA talks with the two MDC parties until sanctions imposed by the West have been removed and “pirate” radio stations have stopped operating.