By Mbekezeli Ncube
OUSTED Ntabazinduna traditional leader, Chief Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni says government should open up more media space through licensing of new radio and television stations that would help cater for all the country’s 16 official languages.
Zimbabwe has one television station and several radio stations that are broadcasting predominantly in English, Ndebele and Shona.
Chief Ndiweni made the remarks via a press statement Wednesday.
The firebrand traditional leader said government should not limit the vast opportunities presented by the advent of digital platforms in terms of the airwaves.
“We are advancing the notion of a liberised media within the country with respect to the digital airwaves.
“This means that we can carry hundreds of television channels and radio stations throughout the nation.
“We are asking for many new stations that wound be allowed to speak only their native language on radios and television,” said Ndiweni.
Government has maintained tight controls on the airwaves with only state-controlled stations and those of individuals linked to the Zanu PF led administration being licenced to broadcast.
State controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation runs several national radio stations throughout the country.
Among radio stations that have been granted licences outside the ZBC monopoly include ZimPapers’ Star FM, and Zanu PF legislator Supa Mandiwanzira’s ZiFM Stereo.
Government has licensed few more commercial stations in major parts of the country albeit with limited reach in terms of their coverage.
Chief Ndiweni said everyone must feel accommodated in Zimbabwe through languages aired by local radio stations.
“Our country is a nation of nations, everyone must be allowed to breath fresh air in this country of ours.
“We all must feel a sense of pride in who we are, we must have self confidence in our surnames for they speak of our lineage, nations must be able to walk, talk in comfort.
“Nations must feel at peace within their environment. No nation must feel subjugated in any manner. All nations must be afforded full and complete representation, in all spheres of modern life.”