Friday, November 25, 2011

(HERALD) Zimpapers, AB awarded radio licences

Zimpapers, AB awarded radio licences
Friday, 25 November 2011 00:00
Herald Reporters

THE Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe has awarded Zimbabwe Newspapers and AB Communications free-to-air broadcasting national radio licenses.

BAZ chairperson Dr Tafataona Mahoso yesterday said the awarding of licences to the two firms followed a thorough adjudication process that saw them scoring higher points among the four shortlisted applicants.

The four companies are AB Communications (Zi Radio), Zimpapers (Zimpapers Talk Radio), Hot Media (Kiss FM) and Vox Media (VOP FM).

Zimpapers group chief executive Mr Justin Mutasa was upbeat.

"As the group chief executive officer, I am very excited that Zimpapers is now on the road to be an integrated media house like the Media 24 of South or The Nation Media Group of Kenya.
"This is the vision of the company. We will be on air in the next three months," he said.

Mr Mutasa said the company was now looking for general manager/station manager, programmes scheduling manager and finance manager among other personnel.

AB Communications chief executive officer Mr Supa Mandiwanzira welcomed the awarding of the licence to his company.

"We are very ecstatic as a company. We are very proud for the broadcasting industry as a whole and for writing our own piece of history for being the first private broadcaster to be licensed in this country.

"We would like to thank the Government of Zimbabwe for the wisdom of opening up the airwaves and BAZ for their professionalism in handling the application process," he said.

Mr Mandiwanzira said they expected to start operations within six months as they said during the public hearings conducted during the application process.
He dismissed concerns in some sectors that their company was aligned to Zanu-PF.

Announcing the winners, Dr Mahoso said AB Communications scored 99 out of 106 points, while Zimpapers got 93 points.

Hot Media scored 80 while Vox Media got 70.

"On the basis of the total points scored by the applicants, AB Communications and Zimpapers, having complied with the Qualifications Process as prescribed by law and having scored the highest number of points in terms of the objectives of the Act in the Selection Process are deemed to be the winners of the two licences for the provision of free-to-air national commercial radio broadcasting services," said Dr Mahoso.

"Having completed this phase, the authority is moving on to invite applications for the provision of Local Commercial Radio Broadcasting services in 14 urban areas. The list of areas will be provided in advertisements to be published by the authority."

In outlining the process, Dr Mahoso said the selection process started with a detailed preliminary assessment of specific areas of each application against the objectives provided by the Act and identification of candidate areas for questioning during a public inquiry as set out by the law.

A public inquiry was subsequently conducted for short-listed firms.

"The last phase of the selection process, which in fact, is the final adjudication, was a comparative process whereby, on the basis of the preliminary assessment of the specific areas of each application and taking into account the information gathered during the public inquiry, the applicants scored points against the objectives provided by the Act," he said.

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