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MPs roast Capitalk radio managers

20/06/2017 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
Kingstons radio concern ... MP James Maridadi

THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information grilled Capitalk radio management Monday over the company’s decision to abandon its core business.

Capitalk is owned by Kingstons Holdings, which is part of a parastatal, and went live January this year.

The legislative committee which is chaired by William Dewa toured the commercial radio station to monitor progress made in meeting establishing standards as prescribed by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe.

However, members of the committee felt that the station had neglected its mandate rooted in academic programming.

MP Kindness Paradza, a former journalist, said; “You have deviated from what you said. You had said you would be an educational institution, the plan being to compliment the books business you were already in.”

Acting Kingstons chief executive officer Farai Ruziwa responded saying, “We haven’t deviated much. If you look at our programmes they are educative.

“We only play one song in an hour unlike Star FM, Power FM and ZiFM are doing the same as Star FM.”

MP James Maridadi countered Ruziwa saying, “The former CEO said, during the hearings, that by education you meant radio lessons which we used to listen to growing up.

“What we are talking about is information that will come into an exam not what you are doing.”

The managers eventually let the questions go unanswered.

Clarifying on ownership of the license speculated to be associated with Zimpapers, Ruziwa said the state newspaper stable has only been assisting with training of personnel who are largely new to the industry and publicising the station in exchange for air space.

Zimpapers owns Star FM, a national station which Capitalk described as one of its major threat to enjoying significant advertising revenue. The members of parliament challenged the radio to be independent.

“Can you please disengage from Zimpapers, you mentioned you are sister companies. Do your own thing, that’s the only way you get business otherwise you close shop.”

Media freedom advocacy organisations criticise government for awarding licenses to organisations and individuals aligned to the ruling Zanu PF party.


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