INFORMATION minister Jonathan Moyo has warned regional media organisations with chapters in Zimbabwe and those funded by foreign organisations that they will not be allowed
to operate community radio stations in the country under the Broadcasting Services Act.
Moyo gave the warning when he addressed journalists at the Bulawayo Press Club on Saturday.
He announced that the country would have more broadcasters to compete with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) by the end of the year.
After lashing out at regional institutions, Moyo said organisations funded by outsiders would not be registered.
“The frequency spectrum is limited and it is reserved for Zimbabweans and we are prepared to spend the rest of our lives in the courts of law to ensure that the frequency spectrum is reserved for Zimbabweans only,” Moyo said.
“Regional organisations that operate as chapters in other countries are very dangerous,” said Moyo.
“Why are they chapters? We do not want chapters, but books. Such organisations will get licences over my dead body,” he said in remarks directed at the Media Institute of Southern Africa which has been urging the establishment of community radio stations.
However, Moyo said the government would not be forced to establish more radio stations while ZBC was still struggling to get to all corners of Zimbabwe.
“Why should we rush to set up transmitters for community radio stations when our people are starving and there is no fuel? We would rather channel the funds towards feeding our people,” Moyo said.
He said the government needed 24 transmitters at a cost of US$40 million.
On the Broadcasting Services Act, Moyo said those criticising the Act did not want their sinister activities to be regulated. He said such organaisations could use the power of information to destabilise the country.
Commenting on the controversial Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Public Order and Security Act, Moyo said some people were blindly attacking the laws yet those laws were modelled on laws in countries such as Britain, Canada and Australia.