The Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS) has welcomed the step taken by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) to license the first 3 community radio stations in post-independent Zimbabwe.

ZACRAS chairperson Pelagia Kapuya says since the promulgation of the Broadcasting Services Act of 2001 which introduced for the first time legality to the idea of community radio, the organisation has been advocating for the licensing of community radios.

Kapuya’s comments came after the Authority announced the granting of community radio licenses to The Mbembesi Development Trust, Ntepe-manama Community Radio Trust & Nyangani Community Radio Trust.

“We have been advocating for community radios so as to give voice & accentuate existing ones in marginalised & underrepresented communities.

“The formation of was therefore premised on the need for a unified national advocacy platform for community radio initiatives and activists,” she told a press briefing this afternoon.

Meanwhile, speaking at the same event, the director for Community Radio Harare Givemore Chipere has bemoaned the slow pace, by which the government is issuing licences.

“We are concerned at the pace at which the government of Zimbabwe is giving licenses to community radio stations.

“It took 19 years to start giving licenses to community radios. It’s our major concern.

“The government of Zimbabwe must not be skeptical about the role community radios want to play,” he said.