AB Communication’s two regional stations have gone live. AB Communications was granted two local commercial broadcasting licences for Gweru and Masvingo by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe.
Hevoi FM (100.2FM) and 98.4 Midlands (formerly Faya FM) signals can be received loud and clear in the two respective areas. 98.4 FM went on air on 10 September 2016 and Hevoi FM went live on 19 September 2016.
“As a commercial enterprise, AB Communications secured a bank loan to set up the stations and remains seized with making sure the commercial stations are viable,” said Susan Makore, AB Communications CEO.
These stations are currently playing music and full spectrum broadcasts expected soon. The delays on full spectrum are due to issues beyond AB Communications control.
“The outstanding aspects to do with equipment are due to the current nationwide nostro funding challenges,” Makore said.
“These challenges have made it impossible for AB Communications to get the desired studio equipment to make the stations fully operational.”
The government has challenges in remitting cash for external payments due to a depletion of nostro account balances.
“The requests that we submitted between June and July 2016 are still to be processed when ordinarily equipment would have been delivered within 6 weeks,” she said.
During his presentation of the Mid-Term Monetary Policy statement on 15 September, Reserve Bank Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya indicated that the central bank has managed to secure facilities of up to US$215 million from international finance institutions to deal with the outgoing foreign payments in order to deal with the current delays in the processing of outgoing foreign payments by banks. The expectation is that with that intervention we shall be able to have the studios fully functional.
Makore said both 98.4 Midlands and Hevoi FM programming structures shall be driven by listeners’ needs.
AB Communications owns Zimbabwe’s hottest radio station, ZiFM Stereo, which has been rated among the top 20 radio stations in Africa.
The holding company also runs production house Mighty Movies, mobile advertising company TruckAds, music production house Osikd Productions and music events promotions 6 Finger Records.-Staff Writer