KISS FM cries foul over radio licenses

KISS FM representatives on 10 May 2012 bemoaned the adjudication process employed by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) in the awarding of commercial radio broadcasting licences.

The representatives were giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technology during a committee meeting held at Parliament Building in Harare.

Also appearing before the same committee were the recently licensed Zimpapers Talk Radio and AB Communications. The meeting was chaired by Committee Chairperson, Honourable Settlement Chikwinya.

KISS FM directors Sharon Mugabe and Phibion Gwatidzo felt that the adjudication process was not conducted fairly as the other competing parties had an opportunity to sit in and listen to their presentation during the public hearings into the applications.

They said this could have given the competitors opportunity to rework any aspects they had not addressed in their application.

The KISS FM directors noted that in terms of finances, human resources and experience, they were better placed as compared to their competitors, some of whom were finally awarded the licences.

Meanwhile, the two companies that were awarded the licences, were also given an opportunity to present their roll out plans and other related issues. Zimpapers Talk Radio which was represented by Justin Mutasa, Admire Taderera and Pikirayi Deketeke, will start broadcasting within the next two months according to the trio.

Questioned on the autonomy of the broadcaster’s editorial content given its close affiliation to the state-controlled Zimpapers, Deketeke said the radio’s operations would be influenced by economic factors and not by any other assumed forces.

Supa Mandiwanzira of AB Communications dismissed as speculation they had been awarded the licence on the basis of alleged political links to Zanu PF.

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