ZACRAS joins the world in commemorating World Radio Day. A day that is celebrated annually on the 13th of February. World Radio Day is an important day in the media sector as it has been set aside to celebrate the use of radio as a source of information.

ZACRAS recognizes that radio reaches the most remote and vulnerable communities. It is a powerful medium that cuts across cultures and borders and this year we celebrate World Radio Day 2023 under the theme ‘Radio and Peace’. As a communication medium, radio can indeed fuel conflict but its power lies in moderating conflict and being a medium that celebrates humanity and providing a platform for democratic discourse.

This year’s theme is timeous as Zimbabwe is heading for National General Elections and as such ZACRAS believes that radio will play an important role in fostering peace among communities. A pivotal role also will be the radio’s power in eliminating misinformation and disinformation in the Zimbabwean community as a whole. As the medium that is widely accessed, radio will offer platforms for peaceful discourses pre, during and post-election period.

More so, community radios form an integral part of our kin conversations and their independence highlight their positioning as pillars for conflict prevention and peacebuilding. We continue to celebrate the milestone of the licensing of 14 community radio stations by the government of Zimbabwe hence giving communities a voice. The licensing was strategic in that the marginalized communities are no longer excluded as they at the present moment have a platform to participate in local and national conversations.

While acknowledging the government’s efforts in licensing the 14 community radio stations, their sustainability remains a troubling aspect and ZACRAS continues to lobby the government on relaxing regulations and policies that will enable community radios to be self-sustainable, this includes allowing community radio stations to have adverts.

Since fulfilling its obligation of providing the 3 tier broadcasting system through community broadcasting services, we commend our government for these efforts. As we join other radio broadcasters in celebration, we call upon our government for financial and technical support towards enabling the remaining licensed community radio stations to go on air through the provision of transmitters and the necessary technical assistance for the community radio stations. We also make a special appeal to the communities to be involved in the operations and to take ownership of these community radios as their support is crucial for their survival