VOP FM makes bid for radio licence

The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe on 27 October 2011 convened its last scheduled public hearings for prospective free-to-air radio licensees with VOP FM appearing before the Authority.

The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) sitting as a commission of inquiry was chaired by Dr Tafataona Mahoso.

The BAZ panel which was constituted in terms of the Commissions of Inquiry Act and the Broadcasting Services Act section 10 (8) comprised commissioners: Dr Tafataona Mahoso, Chief Gambiza, Colonel Reuben Mqwayi, Mrs Erica Mususa, Dr Vimbai Chivaura, Charity Moyo, Edward Dube, Dr Kurasha and Eng. Muganyura.

The presentation bid for VOP FM was made by its chairperson David Masunda and Chief Executive Officer John Masuku. The presentation gave a detailed account of the station’s historical background, shareholding structure, studio facilities, transmission plan, business plan, roll-out plan, vision, and mission statement.

Amongst the contentious questions raised by commissioners Mahoso and Moyo was on the identity of the shareholders and the practicality of the projected profit turnovers within the first year of going on air. However, VOP FM maintained that according to its cash flow projections, this was achievable.

The other issue was whether Radio VOP (Communications), which is listed among the shareholders would continue broadcasting should VOP FM be granted a licence. Masunda said the former would immediately cease broadcasting should VOP FM be granted a licence since it had donated all its studio equipment to the latter.

Commissioner Dube also questioned the definition of sponsored programmes and whether this meant they would come in the form of donations. However, Masuku noted that VOP FM was purely a commercial venture and would not bank on any donations.

In an inordinately lengthy interrogation by the commission that lasted more than an hour, VOP FM also disclosed that it will have its own news crew when it commences operations so that it is in a position to generate its own news.

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