Daniel Itai – The Zimbabwe Daily

Harare, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS) is not happy with the way in which the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) is handling the ongoing applications for community radio stations’ licensing.

Vivian Marara-Zhangazha, director of ZACRAS said some of their members were complaining about the daunting application process.

“Some of the applicants have  indicated that the application process is daunting, BAZ has only one payment option for application fees which is through bank transfer, when some of the applicants went to the BAZ office to submit their applications, they had not done bank transfers into the BAZ account under the assumption that they could either swipe or pay through Ecocash upon getting to the BAZ offices.

However, this was not the case when they got to the BAZ offices and hence, they could not submit the application pending payment of the application fees.

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Since they are not technocrats, putting together a three year cash forecast, technical specifications and program schedules has proved to be difficult,” said the ZACRAS director.

To date, BAZ has only received two applicants, “only two applications from Beitbridge and Plumtree have been received and the other one from Chiredzi which we have failed to categorise but we are assisting them in ensuring their papers are in order. We are not happy with the response, probably it’s the mentality that it’s difficult to obtain the licence,” said Joice Kubukai, BAZ’s legal officer.

Regardless, the ZACRAS director said BAZ should expect more applicants in the coming days, “we will definitely see more applications not only from ZACRAS members but from across the board.”

ZACRAS has eight of it’s members who are vying for community radio licenses however, for them to be able to be considered by BAZ they have to submit their applications  before the 1st of August 2020.