Firstly, I would like to thank all of you for accepting our invitation to attend this very important occasion event as we celebrate the World Radio Day.
World Radio Day is the day which falls on February 13 every year to celebrate a radio as a medium; to improve international cooperation between broadcasters; and to encourage major networks and community radio alike to promote access to information, freedom of expression and gender equality over the airwaves.
This year, the day is commemorated under the theme: “Radio in times of Emergency and Disaster”.
We as Kumakomo Community Radio, we believe that Radio plays an important role in everyone’s life. People have a right to access information and radio plays a bigger part in information dissemination as it reaches millions of people at a time.
As our mother body ZACRAS has said, in its, statement, presently, a number of communities in Zimbabwe in the Manicaland, Masvingo and Matabeleland Provinces have been affected by the El Nino induced drought whose negative impact has not only been felt in Zimbabwe but also a number of Southern African Countries.
This forced the President Robert Mugabe to declare the 2015-2016 agricultural season a state of disaster. This has therefore seen Government through the Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, appealing for $1,5billion so as to mitigate the impact of the drought.
In light of the above, the theme for this year’s commemorations comes at an opportune time as it highlights the role of radio in disaster mitigation and mobilising aid for survivors of natural and human induced disasters.
The radio is not only useful during the disasters or emergency areas but also even in promoting governance and human rights by holding our leaders accountable.
This is what Kumakomo has been doing and we are proud to say, ever since we started back in 2003, we have made a tremendous progress in ensuring that everyone has access to information regardless of where they are and where they are coming from.
Despite that we don’t have a broadcasting license yet, we have tried our level best to use any medium to be the voice of the voiceless.
Today, I am glad to say we now have over 10 listening clubs in all 21 wards that we are working and I should thank all volunteers who have sacrificed their time and resources to make this possible. Not forgetting ZACRAS who have been there for us to provide resources and all necessary expertise.
We are also in the process of redesigning our website in order to provide more useful information to our followers and our stakeholders.
Once it is completed, people will be able to listen and download programs online, subscribe to our newsletter as well as registering online as a volunteer or just a member.
The newsletter will be coming to you every Monday starting from next week and it will feature highlights of the stories that made headlines the past week as well as updates from Kumakomo Community Radio.
We are also revamping our media brand to reflect who we are and what we stand for. This means in the few weeks to come, you will see some changes in all our media profiles such as Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and Youtube. We therefore ask you connect with us through any media platform you are familiar with. You can send us stories as well as any constructive feedback.
It is still sad though that up to now the government has not released Call for Application of the Community Radio licenses. We are therefore requesting our distinguished members of parliament to help us lobby the government to release the applications at the soonest possible so that we can get on air and reach more people.
Lastly, we would like to thank you for your time because we know being a weekend, some of you were supposed to be with your families. But you have chosen to sacrifice your time to be with us here. We don’t take it for granted.
Thank you very much. Tatenda.