CHIREDZI – Chiredzi’s first ever community radio station, Avuxeni will be launched by President Emmerson Mnangagwa anytime this August.
Avuxeni was granted a licence on May 26, 2021 although the licence was officially handed over to the radio station’s board on Wednesday last week.
Jonathan Gandari, the chief director in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services toured the station which is located at 69 Corner Inyati and Impala Drive last week and said President Mnangagwa was upbeat about the development and cannot wait to come and officially open the station.
The radio station got a licence after the Shangani people under the banner of Chiredzi Rural Development Trust (CRDT) applied in March last year following a call for licences by Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ). Avuxeni is one of the four radio stations in Chiredzi that applied for community radio licences. It is one of six stations that were given licenses.
The condition for licencing of the non profit making station is that it will be run by the community for the community.
The funding for the radio station will come from the community whilst the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services will fund Covid19 related programs.
Gandari said that the launch of the station will be combined with the launch of all other radio stations that got licences in the country and this means that President Mnangagwa will be launching a total of six radio stations.
The station has 10 board members with Herbert Phikela as the chairman. The other board members are Savious Furumele (Vice chairman), Israel Muchini( secretary) , vice secretary Lode Gavela, Treasurer Piyani Kulivale and three committee members Cecilia Sibanda, Agnes Ngungunyane and Letmore Chauke and they were drawn from Chikombedzi, Malipati, Mwenezi and Chiredzi where the signals reach.
Phikela’s background is that he is a Community Liason Officer at Gonarezhou Conservation Trust.
Phikela promised to deliver quality information and promote the Tsonga culture.
“We are greatly honoured as Avuxeni Radio Stations to have a licence and our mission is to give information that will promote the Tsonga and Ndau culture.” said Phikela.
He told The Mirror that the station is ready to start broadcasting by the end of the month and it will have six staff members to start of with.
He also said that the radio will not dwell on any political issues.
“The President is happy with Avuxeni and he sent me to see if preparations for the launch are on track. He wants this thing to be big so if you have any challenges let us know,” said Gandari.
Matthew Chakanyuka, Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ)’s acting Chief Executive officer also attended the tour.
“Chiredzi has been selected as the district where the launch of all radio stations granted licences will take place,”said Chakanyuka.
Chiredzi East MP Denford Masiya said the licence was applied for by the Shanghani people under CRDT.
BAZ donated studio equipment to the station. The opening of the radio station follows the migration from analogue to digital brought about by the installation of boosters in areas such as Rutenga, Malipati, Chikombedzi and Chiredzi.
“People from my Constituency lacked information on what is happening in the country because of the absence of radio stations. We are with this development”, said Chiredzi South MP Kalisto Gwanetsa.