Local communities in Zimbabwe have reiterated the importance of community radio stations which they said are a strategic component for national development.
Making a presentation at the belated World Radio day commemorations organised by Amnesty International Zimbabwe (AIZ) and Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS) in Seke communal lands, Chitongo village head Mr Maumbe said;
"We are very happy for this program, these organizations (Amnesty and ZACRAS) have brought us because it is uniting us and help us as a community to define our common goal. This further enlightens us on the importance of having our own radio that speaks on issues of our own community.
"The sporting activity for our children today is making them understand each other as they also realize their talents," Maumbe said.
Area legislator, Munyaradzi Kashambe alluded that the advocacy for community radio stations is a leap in the right direction as it open up the communities to understand their common interests.
"What makes rural people backward is the lack of information so this advocacy you are doing today will go a long way in alleviating and also enlighten the rural folk. ... we want a liberal socio economic mindset where everyone will make a decision based on informed principles," he said.
Both Amnesty and ZACRAS officials took turns to stress the reasons why the communities need their own communication tools with the need for information described as an arsenal for development.
Amnesty programs officer, Rosemary Muzerengi told 263Chat that the campaign is also aimed at uplifting the livelihoods of the young people whose current behavior she said is worrying as some engage in excess drug and alcohol consumption.
"Radio allows these young people to congregate as they share ideas on how to improve their livelihoods. Through the exchange of ideas, we believe that they can also change their behavior," She said
Zimbabwe has not registered community radio stations, but recently Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana told media stakeholders during a world radio day celebrations in Harare last week that they will start with faith based radio stations in their licensing program to begin soon.